Leanne Stacey

Year: Senior

Major(s): Psychology

Mentor: Yoo, Seung-Chul

Department: School of Communication

Project Title: Arousal, Empathy, and Formal Features of Violent Video Games and Brand Recognition and Brand Attitudes

Project Abstract: Past research suggests that advertisements embedded within violent media may be less likely to be remembered, and also likely to produce positive brand attitudes in viewers than advertisements in non-violent media. In general, relatively little is known about the psychological mechanisms contributing to these effects. In addition, past studies have mainly focused on television advertisements; however, advertisements are now frequently placed in other forms of media including video games which frequently include violent content. For the proposed study 60 people will be brought into the lab and placed in one of three conditions: Killing humans in a video game, killing zombies in a video game, or a non-video game control. We will assess how arousal level and empathetic responding interact the type of presentation to affect participant brand recognition, and brand attitudes. Results will be interpreted using the General Aggression Model. This study will allow me to build skills in experimental design and implementation, data analysis, and presentation of scientific results at national research conferences and peer-reviewed publications.