Lin, J. (2012). The moderating role of media interactivity on the relationship between video game violence and aggression and the mediating mechanisms of character identification and self-concept. Dissertation Abstracts International Section A, 72,

This study proposed and tested a media interactivity model drawing upon recent theoretical arguments about character identification within the General Aggression Model (GAM). The model examined the moderating effect of media interactivity on the relationship between video game violence and short-term aggression. In addition, character identification and automatic self-concept were hypothesized as the mediating mechanisms of the effect of media interactivity on short-term aggression. As a part of this work, a scale designed to measure character identification was developed and tested. Drawing from the social cognitive theory, the Monadic Identification Scale consists of 15 items which loaded into four factors (Enactive Experiences, Goal Identification, Real Life Identification, and Outcome Identification) predicted by the theory. A total of 169 male undergraduate students participated in the experiment, which had a 2 (media interactivity: play vs. watch) × 2 (violence: violent vs. non-violent) factorial design. The results showed that media interactivity and violence significantly affected participants’ short-term aggressive affect. Media interactivity also had a main effect on systolic and diastolic blood pressure. A conditional moderating effect—in that participants who played the violent video game displayed greater aggressive affect and blood pressure than participants who watched the recorded violent game play—was also found. Moreover, Enactive Experiences Identification fully mediated the effect of media interactivity on aggressive affect, after controlling for the Outcome Identification as a suppressor. Participants who played the video games exhibited a higher level of identification than recorded game play watchers, which led to higher aggressive affect. An interaction effect between media interactivity and violence was found for automatic self-concept. Media interactivity enhanced both positive and negative effects, in which active video game players in violent and non-violent conditions associated themselves both with more aggressive and more peaceful concepts than those who watched the recorded game play. However, self-concept did not significantly mediate the interaction effect of media interactivity and violence on short-term aggression. The current study extended existing literature and further demonstrated that media interactivity exhibited significant influence on media effects after controlling violence content. Future research should continue testing the proposed media interactivity model as well as the antecedents and consequences of the mediating mechanisms. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)