Affiliation: Hussman School of Journalism and Media
This dissertation extended the concept of customization to the domain of videogames and explored the nuances of individualized feedback in concert with other important variables in the gaming context (distraction during game play and information on player progress). Specifically, Study 1 employed a 2 (distraction: low vs. high) x 3 (feedback type: customized, non-customized, no feedback) experimental design to explore the interplay between feedback and distraction on the outcome measures of attitude toward the game and game performance. The results revealed that customized feedback was superior to other forms of feedback in generating positive attitudes toward content as well as improving performance of certain types of behaviors. These effects were mediated by perceptions of motivation and relevance. Study 2 aimed to further unravel the role of distraction in customized feedback by including progress information as an additional independent variable. Specifically, Study 2 employed a 2 (distraction: low vs. high) x 4 (progress information: no progress information, low progress medium progress, high progress) experimental design, where all participants were provided individualized feedback. The findings revealed some unexpected patterns such that the absence of any progress information invoked most favorable attitudes while participants in the high distraction condition exhibited high scores on the performance measure via decreased attention. In summary, this dissertation puts forth several explanations for inconsistencies in feedback research while touting the benefits of providing customized feedback.