Gaming Has Psychological Benefits, According to New Research by Dr. Douglas Maynard

Dr. Douglas Maynard

Dr. Douglas Maynard

Dr. Douglas Maynard and two of his student researchers, Leah J. Mancini and Vania Rolón, published a new article in Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research just last week.

Click here for the full text article.


Maynard, D., Mancini, L. J., & Rolón, V. (2020). The effect of competitive, cooperative, and solo play on subjective vitality and negative affect. Psi Chi Journal of Psychological Research, 25(2), 98-109.


In the current investigation, we examined the impact of game mode upon changes in subjective vitality, an indicator of well-being marked by feelings of aliveness and energy, as well as negative affect. In Study 1, college students (N = 106) in pairs were randomly assigned to play a dexterity- based card game in either a competitive or a cooperative mode. In Study 2, 54 college students played the same game alone in a solo mode. Participants in all 3 conditions experienced a significant increase in subjective vitality (d = .73, .59, and .47 for the competitive, cooperative, and solo conditions, respectively) and a significant decrease in negative affect (d = .59, .26, and .34, respectively) after playing the game. In Study 1, there was no significant difference in changes to emotional state between the competitive and cooperative modes of play. Finally, contrary to expectations, more competitive participants did not benefit more than less competitive participants from playing in the competitive mode.

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