Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Does Signaling Theory Account for Aggressive Behavior in Video Games?
by Huskey, Richard Wayne, M.A., University of California, Santa Barbara, 2014, 48; 1555260
Abstract (Summary)

Signaling theory originated in evolutionary biology and explains the mechanisms behind the honest communication of information between organisms. Communication scholars are increasingly turning to signaling theory as a way to test evolutionary explanations for human behavior. The present study tests if receiver-dependent costly signals can be used to predict the moment of aggressive behavior in video game environments. High status (but not high trait aggression) male subjects were fastest to engage in combat against a low voice pitch male opponent - but only when subject skill was high. This result underscores the importance of video game skill as a variable of interest as well as the need for video games researchers to tease out when real-world behaviors map to video game contexts.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Weber, Rene
Commitee: Linz, Daniel, Reid, Scott
School: University of California, Santa Barbara
Department: Communication
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 52/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Behavioral psychology, Evolution and Development, Communication
Keywords: Evolutionary communication, Signaling theory, Status, Video games, Voice pitch
Publication Number: 1555260
ISBN: 9781303872624
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