Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Alison Harris

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Although the link between violent video games and aggressive behavior has received extensive coverage, there is growing evidence that prosocial video games can exert a positive influence as well. However, whether these effects generalize to costlier prosocial behaviors that help more distant recipients remains unclear. Here I propose an experimental study to examine whether prosocial video games can influence charitable donation behavior. College students will be randomly assigned to play 45 min of either a prosocial video game (Lemmings) or neutral video game (Tetris), followed by a 10 min filler task (mental calculation). Participants will then be asked to complete a payment form, indicating if they want to donate a portion of their experimental participation payment to a local nonprofit organization. Based on previous research, we predict that there will be a main effect of gender, with female participants more likely to donate than males. Additionally, we hypothesize a main effect of video game, where participants who play the prosocial video game will be likelier to donate than those who play the neutral game. If confirmed, these results would extend the existing literature on prosocial video games beyond informal face-to-face helping behaviors, potentially providing a psychological mechanism for costlier needs such as charitable appeals.