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Title: Positive affect and creative cognition in the context of computer game play
Author: Yeh, Shu-Hua
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2012
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The present research explores and examines positive affect, which varies in approach motivational intensity, and its influence on creative cognition in the context of computer game play. Cognitive functions of positive affect and computer game play are a growing concern for educational practitioners and parents. Little is known about how 'out-of-school' use of computer games influences affect and creativity. This research explores the effects of positive affect elicited by computer games on various forms of creative cognition (including breadth of attention, productivity and originality) from the perspectives in a theoretical framework, emphasising approach motivational dimension of positive affect. This framework predicts that high approach- motivated positive affect may narrow breadth of attention, and reduce productivity and originality. Accordingly, low approach-motivated positive affect may broaden breadth of attention, and enhance productivity and originality. Three within-participants experiments were conducted to examine these predictions. Results were mixed in their support of theoretical predictions. In Study 1, as expected, playing an exciting computer game versus viewing a humorous film elicited a stronger degree of high (desire and eagerness) versus low (relaxation and amusement) approach-motivated positive affective states respectively. The same results of affective states were replicated in Study 2. However, unexpectedly, these positive affective states varying in approach motivation did not show differences in their effects on breadth of attention as there were no significant differences of response times on a global-local visual processing attentional task used to measure breadth of attention. The asymmetric transfer effect inherent in the within-participant research design and an absence of global precedence effect on the attentional task representing a weak validity of the measurement for breadth of attention were found. In Study 3, the degree of high approach-motivated positive affect [i.e., desire) reported after playing an exciting computer game with high arousal did not differ from that reported after playing a relaxing computer game with low arousal. Unexpectedly, originality performed after playing the exciting computer game was better than that performed after playing the relaxing computer game; nevertheless, playing these two types of games did not differ in productivity. The present research supports the view that positive affective states can vary in approach motivation as well as the state of arousal. Results are discussed with reflections on methodology and their implications for the theoretical framework. A new research proposal based on a reflected theoretical framework is suggested fo r future research on how positive affect elicited by computer game play may influence creative cognition. I.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available