New paper online: The role of motivation to change and mindsets in a game promoted for mental health

We are very happy to announce that a new paper by Aniek Wols, Marlou Poppelaars, Anna Lichtwarck-Aschoff and Isabela Granic is out, published in Entertainment Computing! You can read it here

In this paper we examined how motivational factors (motivation to change one's symptoms and mindsets about emotion and stress) influenced the choice for, and engagement with a game promoted as a mental health game. We found that participants were equally likely to choose a game promoted as a mental health game vs. a game promoted as an entertainment game, and regardless of their choice participants played the game for a similar period of time. 

In addition, we found that when participants chose to play the game promoted as a mental health game, they reported a decrease in the belief that the effects of stress are debilitating (i.e., a more adaptive stress mindset) than participants who chose to play the game promoted as entertainment game. This was an interesting finding, because all participants played eventually the same game - it was just promoted differently!

Interested in other findings of the same experiment? See our first paper on the same dataset.
If you want to know more about mindsets, check out our blogs of the Mindset theme month we had in January 2018. We wrote about developing a mindset to succeed at New Year's resolutions, the importance of a growth mindset for our mental health, and how Anouk built her positive mindset.


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I am interested in how and why applied games for mental health work, with a specific focus on the influence of one's mindset, motivation and expectations.

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