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Cyber Buddy is Better than No Buddy: A Test of the Köhler Motivation Effect in Exergames.

Feltz, Deborah L., Forlenza, Samuel T., Winn, Brian, Kerr, Norbert L. (2014) Cyber Buddy is Better than No Buddy: A Test of the Köhler Motivation Effect in Exergames. Games for Health Journal, 3 (2). pp. 98-105. ISSN 2161-783X. E-ISSN 2161-7856. (doi:10.1089/g4h.2013.0088)


Objective: Although exergames are popular, few people take advantage of the potential of group dynamics to motivate play (and achieve associated health bene?ts). One motivation gain phenomenon has shown promise for motivating greater effort in partnered exergames: The Koehler effect (working at a task with a more capable partner where one’s performance is indispensable to the group). This article examines whether a Koehler effect can be demonstrated in an exergame by exercising with a moderately superior humanoid, software-generated partner. Materials and Methods: Male and female (n = 120; mean age, 19.41 years) college students completed a series of plank exercises using ‘‘CyBuddy Exercise,’’ a program developed speci?cally for this study. In a lab in an academic building, participants completed the exercises individually and, after a rest, were randomly assigned to complete the same exercises again, but with a ‘‘live’’ human partner (HP) presented virtually, a nearlyhuman-like, humanoid partner (NHP), a hardly human-like, software-generated partner (HHP), or a no-partner control condition (IC), with equal numbers in each group (i.e., n = 30). Exercise persistence, perceived exertion, self-ef?cacy beliefs, enjoyment, and intentions to exercise were recorded and analyzed. Results: A 4X2 analysis of variance on the (Block 2 – Block 1) difference scores showed that a signi?cant Koehler motivation gain was observed in all partner conditions (compared with IC), but persistence was signi?cantly greater with HPs than with either NHP or HHP humanoid partners (P < 0.05). By the conclusion of the study, there were no signi?cant differences among the partnered conditions in perceived exertion, self-ef?cacy, enjoyment, or future intentions to exercise. Conclusions: These results suggest that a software-generated partner can elicit the Koehler motivation gain in exergames, but not as strongly as a partner who is thought to be human.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1089/g4h.2013.0088
Projects: [UNSPECIFIED] Cyber Partners: Harnessing Group Dynamics to Boost Motivation to Exercise
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Psychology > Social Psychology
Depositing User: Norbert L Kerr
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2014 18:58 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 12:39 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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