Moral development and video game play

Authors: Hodge, S., Taylor, J. and McAlaney, J.

Conference: BPS Annual Conference 2017

Dates: 3-5 May 2017


Pages: 48-49

Publisher: BPS

Place of Publication: Leicester


Objectives: To investigate the relationships between moral development scores and various measures of video game playing.

Design: A cross sectional study consisting of 301 participants from a secondary school (n = 166) and university (n = 135) aged between 11 and 27 completed an online survey. The survey included the Sociomoral Reflection Measure – Short Form (SRM -­‐ SF) measure of moral development developed by 49 Gibbs, Basinger, and Fuller (1992) and questions regarding video game play such as: length of time, years playing, genres played and average content rating. Results: The results suggested morality has a complex relationship with video game play and this was different for the secondary school and university sample. For secondary school participants; males and playing more types of genres significantly predicted higher moral scores (p <.05). Whereas none of the variables predicted moral scores for university participants (p <.05). For both groups; being older, male, playing more types of genres and games with moral narratives significantly predicted higher moral scores. Whereas more years playing, the higher the average content rating and playing Grand Theft Auto significantly predicted lower moral scores (p <.05).

Conclusions: Video game play was suggested to have a mixed relationship with moral scores, both positive and negative. It was suggested that video games could be morally stimulating; however longitudinal research is needed to investigate this.

Source: Manual