We investigated potential gender differences in video game (pong) performance in university students. In Experiment 1 men (N = 16) performed significantly better than women (N = 16). Experiment 2 was similar to the first, but used 14 men and 14 women who were matched carefully on previous video game experience. In spite of the matching, results replicated those of the first experiment. In Experiment 3 we evaluated the effect of an audience (male, female, none) on pong performance in 42 men and 42 women. We also assessed trait competition anxiety (Sport Competition Anxiety Test scores), sex role identification (Bem Sex Role Inventory scores), and video game experience. Both genders showed significantly poorer performance when they played pong in the presence of a female audience. Overall, males outperformed females as in the first two experiments. Examination of individuals with low, medium, and high levels of sport competition anxiety and videogame experience reveals persistent gender differences in performance, seemingly independent of levels of anxiety and experience. In all three experiments, both men and women showed significant improvement in performance over trials.
Sex Roles – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 22, 2004
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