What is it about?

Most research on gaming motivations focused on conscious motivations (e.g., to obtain a sense of achievement, to make friends, etc.). In contrast, we examined fear of death as an unconscious motivation. We reminded people either of their own death (experimental group) or of the pain associated with a dental procedure (control group). Subsequently, they were given a chance to play an endless runner game. As expected, the experimental group played the game twice as long as the control group. This suggests that our fear of death motivates us to play games, sometimes, in an excessive manner.

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Why is it important?

We provided the first experimental evidence of the role of fear of death as an unconscious motivation for gaming. Together with existing research, the study provided a comprehensive understanding of gaming behavior and could offer insights into the treatment of internet gaming disorder.

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This page is a summary of: Death anxiety as a gaming motivation: An exploratory study., The Humanistic Psychologist, November 2022, American Psychological Association (APA), DOI: 10.1037/hum0000305.
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