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Fischer, Peter; Greitemeyer, Tobias; Morton, Thomas; Kastenmüller, Andreas; Postmes, Tom; Frey, Dieter; Kubitzki, Jörg; Odenwälder, Jörg (2009): The Racing-Game Effect: Why Do Video Racing Games Increase Risk-Taking Inclinations? In: Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Vol. 35, No. 10: pp. 1395-1409




The present studies investigated why video racing games increase players’ risk-taking inclinations. Four studies reveal that playing video racing games increases risk taking in a subsequent simulated road traffic situation, as well as risk-promoting cognitions and emotions, blood pressure,sensation seeking, and attitudes toward reckless driving. Study 1 ruled out the role of experimental demand in creating such effects. Studies 2 and 3 showed that the effect of playing video racing games on risk taking was partially mediated by changes in selfperceptions as a reckless driver. These effects were evident only when the individual played racing games that reward traffic violations rather than racing games that do not reward traffic violations (Study 3) and when the individual was an active player of such games rather than a passive observer (Study 4). In sum, the results underline the potential negative impact of racing games on traffic safety.