Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Craig A. Anderson


The increasing use of electronic media increases the importance of the potential effects of those media (both positive and negative). A recent and growing body of research has focused on the potential for certain forms of electronic media, particularly television and video games, to increase attention problems and impulsiveness while decreasing self-control, executive function, proactive cognitive control, and also improving visual attention. These findings are also relevant to aggression as some of these outcomes have been associated with aggression in previous research and theory. In addition to replicating past findings relating some forms of electronic media use to greater attention problems and aggression, less proactive cognitive control, and superior visual attention, the present study produced several new findings. Watching videos on a computer, sending and receiving text messages by phone, and media multitasking are all associated with greater attention problems. Text messaging and media multitasking are also associated with lower reactive cognitive control. Both listening to music and playing music and party video games are associated with superior visual-spatial attention. Additionally, experimentally assigning participants to play an action video game for 10 sessions not only improved visual attention but also impaired proactive cognitive control, meaning positive and negative media effects can occur simultaneously.


Copyright Owner

Edward Lee Swing



File Format


File Size

157 pages