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Video games as a recovery intervention for ostracism

Video games as a recovery intervention for ostracism

Tamplin-Wilson, Jay, Smith, Rebecca ORCID: 0000-0002-6459-0084, Morgan, Jessica and Maras, Pamela (2019) Video games as a recovery intervention for ostracism. Computers in Human Behavior, 97. pp. 130-136. ISSN 0747-5632 (doi:

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Research has begun to explore the potential benefits of video games as intervention methods for a variety of issues. This study explores the role of video games in assisting the recovery from ostracism. Undergraduate volunteers (n = 117) were either included or excluded during a game of cyberball, after which their relational needs (self-esteem and belonging), as well as positive and negative affect were assessed. They were then randomly allocated to a video game condition (self-esteem enhancing, pro-social, or control) and following 5 min of play, needs and affect were reassessed. Participants’ anti/pro – social responses were also recorded after administering the video game intervention. Results showed that all game conditions were successful in restoring psychological needs and affect scores following ostracism. Additionally, the pro-social game was the most successful in increasing positive affect following ostracism. There were no differences in pro-social behaviour scores between groups, with participants demonstrating neutral to social behaviour scores. This study is the first of its kind to demonstrate that games have the potential to restore needs and affect following ostracism. Exploring such low-cost and easily accessible intervention methods is crucial, given that ostracism is a prevalent issue with serious negative effects on wellbeing. This study adds to the growing research demonstrating the therapeutic benefits of video games, suggesting it is a valuable method of intervention for ostracism that needs to be further explored.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Video games, Gaming, Intervention, Self-esteem, Belonging, Ostracism
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > Applied Psychology Research Group
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > School of Human Sciences (HUM)
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2020 11:25

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