People may become frustrated when they are denied the opportunity to cheat or steal. (AP)
People may become frustrated when they are denied the opportunity to cheat or steal, according to a new study.
The research by Ohio State University and the University of Luxembourg found that when individuals are offered the opportunity to cheat or steal and that chance is then taken away from them, they may become frustrated.
While other studies have shown that blocking people from achieving their positive goals increases frustration, this is the first study to show that even denying people the chance to commit forbidden behaviours can increase frustration.
The researchers also found that people who are frustrated in their attempts to cheat or steal are more likely than others to be attracted to violent video games.
"We made new discoveries in what makes people frustrated and aggressive, but also what people do when they're feeling this frustration," said Brad Bushman, co-author of the study and Professor of Communication and Psychology at Ohio State University, said.
"Our results help us understand why people are attracted to violent entertainment in the first place - they feel they can take out their frustration virtually," he said.
The researchers carried out two experiments - the first involving 120 male college students and the second 141.
"The prevention of taboo behaviours like stealing produces frustration, just as does the prevention of more desirable goals," Bushman said.
"This is a new finding that adds to our understanding of what causes frustration and aggression," he said. The study was published in the journal Psychological Science.