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“My Avatar Behaves Well and this Feels Right”: Ideal and Ought Selves in Video Gaming

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Prosocial and violent games were investigated in relation to empathy with avatars and amount of postgame donation. Participants who played a prosocial game demonstrated greater empathy, while those who played a violent game said they would donate a greater amount of money. Flow was found to be a function of the 3-way interaction between game type, self-perception, and regulatory focus. Higgins's (1987) regulatory focus and self-discrepancy (1997) theories are used to explain the underlying theoretical mechanisms behind these results.
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Keywords: CHARITABLE DONATION; EMPATHY; FLOW; IDEAL SELF; OUGHT SELF; PROSOCIAL GAMES; SELF-DISCREPANCY; VIOLENT GAMES

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 October 2011

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