Gender Differences in Emotional Responses to Cooperative and Competitive Game Play

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dc.contributor Aalto-yliopisto fi
dc.contributor Aalto University en
dc.contributor.author Kivikangas, J. Matias
dc.contributor.author Kätsyri, Jari
dc.contributor.author Järvelä, Simo
dc.contributor.author Ravaja, Niklas
dc.date.accessioned 2014-12-22T10:00:16Z
dc.date.available 2014-12-22T10:00:16Z
dc.date.issued 2014
dc.identifier.citation Kivikangas, J. Matias & Kätsyri, Jari & Järvelä, Simo & Ravaja, Niklas. 2014. Gender Differences in Emotional Responses to Cooperative and Competitive Game Play. PLoS ONE. Volume 9, Issue 7. ISSN 1932-6203 (printed). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0100318. en
dc.identifier.issn 1932-6203 (printed)
dc.identifier.uri https://aaltodoc.aalto.fi/handle/123456789/14722
dc.description.abstract Previous research indicates that males prefer competition over cooperation, and it is sometimes suggested that females show the opposite behavioral preference. In the present article, we investigate the emotions behind the preferences: Do males exhibit more positive emotions during competitive than cooperative activities, and do females show the opposite pattern? We conducted two experiments where we assessed the emotional responses of same-gender dyads (in total 130 participants, 50 female) during intrinsically motivating competitive and cooperative digital game play using facial electromyography (EMG), skin conductance, heart rate measures, and self-reported emotional experiences. We found higher positive emotional responses (as indexed by both physiological measures and self-reports) during competitive than cooperative play for males, but no differences for females. In addition, we found no differences in negative emotions, and heart rate, skin conductance, and self-reports yielded contradictory evidence for arousal. These results support the hypothesis that males not only prefer competitive over cooperative play, but they also exhibit more positive emotional responses during them. In contrast, the results suggest that the emotional experiences of females do not differ between cooperation and competition, which implies that less competitiveness does not mean more cooperativeness. Our results pertain to intrinsically motivated game play, but might be relevant also for other kinds of activities.Previous research indicates that males prefer competition over cooperation, and it is sometimes suggested that females show the opposite behavioral preference. In the present article, we investigate the emotions behind the preferences: Do males exhibit more positive emotions during competitive than cooperative activities, and do females show the opposite pattern? We conducted two experiments where we assessed the emotional responses of same-gender dyads (in total 130 participants, 50 female) during intrinsically motivating competitive and cooperative digital game play using facial electromyography (EMG), skin conductance, heart rate measures, and self-reported emotional experiences. We found higher positive emotional responses (as indexed by both physiological measures and self-reports) during competitive than cooperative play for males, but no differences for females. In addition, we found no differences in negative emotions, and heart rate, skin conductance, and self-reports yielded contradictory evidence for arousal. These results support the hypothesis that males not only prefer competitive over cooperative play, but they also exhibit more positive emotional responses during them. In contrast, the results suggest that the emotional experiences of females do not differ between cooperation and competition, which implies that less competitiveness does not mean more cooperativeness. Our results pertain to intrinsically motivated game play, but might be relevant also for other kinds of activities. en
dc.format.extent e100318
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher Public Library of Science (PLoS) en
dc.relation.ispartofseries PLoS ONE en
dc.relation.ispartofseries Volume 9, Issue 7
dc.subject.other Psychology en
dc.title Gender Differences in Emotional Responses to Cooperative and Competitive Game Play en
dc.type A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä fi
dc.description.version Peer reviewed en
dc.rights.holder Public Library of Science (PLoS)
dc.contributor.school Kauppakorkeakoulu fi
dc.contributor.school School of Business en
dc.contributor.department Tieto- ja palvelutalouden laitos fi
dc.contributor.department Department of Information and Service Economy en
dc.subject.keyword psychophysiology en
dc.subject.keyword competition en
dc.subject.keyword cooperation en
dc.subject.keyword digital games en
dc.identifier.urn URN:NBN:fi:aalto-201412223250
dc.type.dcmitype text en
dc.identifier.doi 10.1371/journal.pone.0100318
dc.contributor.lab EMOID en
dc.type.version Final published version en


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