Sferra, Michale S (2019-12). Interaction Effect of Gaming Status and Experience of Ostracism on Fundamental Needs. Doctoral Dissertation. Thesis uri icon

abstract

  • The ability to play with others online is commonly rated as one of the most important features of video games by gamers, with many gamers reporting the social aspect of video games as being a primary motivation for play. Cyberball, a computerized task in which a participant throws a digital back and forth with other computer-controlled players, has been previously shown to be effective at inducing feelings of ostracism (i.e., exclusion from a group) in participants, resulting in a depletion of basic fundamental needs in humans (i.e., sense of belonging, control over environment, self-esteem, and meaningful existence) and producing negative emotional experiences. The current study expands our knowledge of ostracism by inducing ostracism in participants via the Cyberball task and examining whether gaming status (i.e., whether the participant identifies as regularly playing video games or not) influences how participants react to ostracism induced via Cyberball, a digital environment similar to those seen in video games. Participants reactions were measured via a survey of fundamental needs and the Self-Assessment Manikin (SAM), a measure designed to assess different domains of affective responses to various stimuli. ANOVA analyses revealed several interaction effects approaching significance between whether the participant was included or excluded during Cyberball, gaming status, and gender on select fundamental needs. Overall, male non-gamers who were excluded during Cyberball tended to report lower levels of belonging and self-esteem than did gamers. However, the main effect sizes of Cyberball condition status alone were consistently greater in magnitude than the effects of the detected interactions including gaming status and gender. Implications of the current findings in regards to the relationship between gaming status and reactions to ostracism experienced in a digital environment as well as directions for future research are discussed.
  • The ability to play with others online is commonly rated as one of the most important features of video games by gamers, with many gamers reporting the social aspect of video games as being a primary motivation for play. Cyberball, a computerized task in which a participant throws a digital back and forth with other computer-controlled players, has been previously shown to be effective at inducing feelings of ostracism (i.e., exclusion from a group) in participants, resulting in a depletion of basic fundamental needs in humans (i.e., sense of
    belonging, control over environment, self-esteem, and meaningful existence) and producing negative emotional experiences. The current study expands our knowledge of ostracism by inducing ostracism in participants via the Cyberball task and examining whether gaming status (i.e., whether the participant identifies as regularly playing video games or not) influences how participants react to ostracism induced via Cyberball, a digital environment similar to those seen in video games. Participants reactions were measured via a survey of fundamental needs and the Self-Assessment Manikin (SAM), a measure designed to assess different domains of affective responses to various stimuli.

    ANOVA analyses revealed several interaction effects approaching significance between
    whether the participant was included or excluded during Cyberball, gaming status, and gender on select fundamental needs. Overall, male non-gamers who were excluded during Cyberball
    tended to report lower levels of belonging and self-esteem than did gamers. However, the main effect sizes of Cyberball condition status alone were consistently greater in magnitude than the effects of the detected interactions including gaming status and gender. Implications of the current findings in regards to the relationship between gaming status and reactions to ostracism experienced in a digital environment as well as directions for future research are discussed.

publication date

  • December 2019