Violent video game play impacts facial emotion recognition

Aggress Behav. Jul-Aug 2007;33(4):353-8. doi: 10.1002/ab.20191.


This study assessed the speed of recognition of facial emotional expressions (happy and angry) as a function of violent video game play. Color photos of calm facial expressions morphed to either an angry or a happy facial expression. Participants were asked to make a speeded identification of the emotion (happiness or anger) during the morph. Typically, happy faces are identified faster than angry faces (the happy-face advantage). Results indicated that playing a violent video game led to a reduction in the happy face advantage. Implications of these findings are discussed with respect to the current models of aggressive behavior.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anger
  • Emotions*
  • Facial Expression*
  • Female
  • Happiness
  • Humans
  • Male
  • New York
  • Reaction Time
  • Recognition, Psychology
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Perception*
  • Video Games / psychology*
  • Violence / psychology*