Gamification, or the application of game-like features in non-game contexts, has been growing in popularity over the last five years. Specifically, the successful gamification of applications (such as Waze, Foursquare, and Fitocracy) has begun a spike in gamification of more complex tasks, such as learning to use AutoCAD or Photoshop. However, much is unknown about the psychological mapping of gamification or how it translates to behavioral outcomes. This dissertation aims to compare three distinct styles of gamification (avatars, points and feedback, and leaderboards) onto the three basic psychological needs (autonomy, competence, and relatedness). It will assess behavioral outcomes on a visual search task when gamification styles are used separately, compared against all three styles used in concert. The task chosen is a camouflage visual search task. This task was selected because it is both boring (as indicated by the Flow Short Scale) and difficult (as indicated by previous work). These features make it the ideal task to gamify. Results indicated that only in the full gamification condition was response time significantly faster than in the control condition, or no gamification. However, ANOVA evaluating differences in enjoyment, motivation, and stress indicated differences among the groups, suggesting that gamification may elicit psychological outcomes that may not necessarily manifest into behavioral outcomes. ANCOVA were used to evaluate group differences using relevant survey measures as covariates. These tests indicated differences among groups in all behavioral measures, though these differences were most pronounced in response time measures. Future directions involving gamification based on personality type, as well as suggestions on best practice for gamification in the future are discussed.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Sciences
Psychology; Human Factors Cognitive Psychology
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Hess, Alyssa, "Gamification of Visual Search in Real World Scenes" (2017). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 5414.