Date of Award


Degree Type




First Advisor

Bracken, Cheryl

Subject Headings

Video games -- Psychological aspects, Mood (Psychology), mood management selective exposure flow


This study investigates selective exposure and video gameplay by borrowing methods employed in previous selective exposure studies on television and the Internet. Also studied was the impact of mood-managing behaviors on the experience of flow, both of which are concerned with affective homeostasis. It was predicted that participants manipulated to experience stress would select easier difficulty levels and play at a slower pace than those who experienced boredom. Means of manipulated groups were consistently in the predicted positions, but there was limited support for hypotheses derived from selective exposure. A negative relationship between self reported boredom and difficulty selection was counter to predictions derived from selective exposure, but a negative relationship between self-reports of stress and rate play supported such predictions. Finally, there was limited evidence that flow experience was delayed due to mood-managing behaviors. These mixed findings are discussed and future research directions are recommended

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