Flow, social interaction anxiety and salivary cortisol responses in serious games: A quasi-experimental study
Serious games are supposed to instigate engagement and, in turn, improve learning. High engagement is frequently connected with a positive affective state and a high flow state. However, the alleged link between a learner’s affective state, his/her flow state and learning outcomes has not been investigated in detail in the context of serious games. Even less information is available on how serious games may influence markers of physiological arousal. To fill this gap, participants of this exploratory study (N = 171) played one of the six different serious game-based treatments, while we measured their affect, flow, cortisol secretion and learning achievement. The treatments were supposed to generate different levels of engagement and cortisol responses, because some of them were designed for a single user, while others were team-based, featuring so-called social-evaluative threat (ST) components. Our results revealed that flow was positively related to positive affect and negatively to negative affect. While flow and positive affect were related to learning gains, almost no relationship between either of these three variables and cortisol levels was found. Negative affect and cortisol were elevated in social interaction anxious males in team-based conditions. This study contributes to the limited body of research on the relationship between engagement and learning in serious games. We provide new perspectives on the relationships between flow, positive/negative affect and cortisol. Our findings highlight the fact that team-based serious games with ST components may have adverse effects on learners, particularly males, with high social interaction anxiety.
V období od 1. 7. do 31. 8. 2014 je nutné se obrátit na službu konající(ho) na sekretariátu ÚISK, v kanceláři SNM (místnost č. 2010) není pravidelně nikdo přítomen. Všichni pracovníci a pracovnice čerpají dovolenou.
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