Study on Empathy in Online Gaming (TF2)

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  • Hey all,

    I’m currently doing a master’s in counselling and psychotherapy and for my dissertation I’m looking into empathy in online gaming, with a focus on the relationship between different game modes and empathy levels. I’ve created a survey for it which takes 6 minutes on average to complete. It’s completely anonymous. If you have time to fill it out I would appreciate it! I’m using Team Fortress 2 as the example game. You must be 18 or older to participate in the survey.

    Thanks to everyone who participated in the survey, the work on this will continue until August 2021.

  • Thanks to everyone who participated! There were 54 valid responses to this study.
    You can find more information on the scale used in this study and how it works here:

    These are the statistically significant findings of this study:

    The t-test (0.01) indicated that there was statistical significance in the difference between male and female results in empathetic concern. Female participants had higher average levels of empathetic concern by 1.6 points. This finding is in keeping with other studies that have used the IRI to explore empathy as it relates to gender.

    Casual v. League-Competitive Gameplay:
    The findings of this study suggest that those who strictly play the game in a casual setting have a higher level of personal distress than those who strictly play the game in a competitive setting. Statistical significance was found with a t-test result of 0.02. Casual players had a greater level of personal distress than competitive players with a difference of 3.2 points across the average results. This indicates that those who play the game professionally, on average, have a lower tendency to feel personal anxiety in difficult interpersonal situations.

    Cooperative versus Competitive game modes:
    On conducting a t-test there was marginal statistical significance (t-test=0.055) found in the fantasy scale results between participants who strictly play the co-operative game mode (MVM) and those who strictly play the competitive game mode (MGE). Participants who strictly play the competitive game mode had a higher average fantasy scale result than those who strictly played the co-operative game mode with a difference of 3.6. These findings indicate that those who strictly play competitively have, on average, a higher tendency to transpose themselves into the actions and feelings of fictional characters.

  • Always cool to see people doing research with tf2 players. I hope you don’t mind my unsolicited corrections/opinion insertions.

    @LiaRein said in Study on Empathy in Online Gaming (TF2):

    The t-test (0.01)
    t-test result of 0.02.

    What I think you mean to say here is that the p value is equal to .01, .02, .055 respectively (if these were your test statistics that would be pretty undesirable I imagine). I would also report the value of the test statistic, I believe that is standard practice in psych journals (but not my field so idk).

    by 1.6 points.
    difference of 3.2 points
    difference of 3.6.

    I imagine confidence intervals around (what I assume are) these point estimates are also standard.

    there was marginal statistical significance (t-test=0.055)

    IIRC saying marginal is relatively commonplace in psych literature but it still physically pains me, especially when they seem to imply that magnitude of p values are inversely related to magnitude of the effect size. But maybe that’s a bit off topic.

  • Thanks for your points! Yes, it’s p value. And when I looked into it at the time the advice was to say “marginal statistical significance.”

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