Petar Jerčić received the masters degree in Computer Science from the University of Split, Croatia in 2008. He is currently a Ph.D. student in Game Development at Blekinge Institute of Technology in Sweden. His research interests include psychophysiology and affective computing, with application in serious games. More specifically, exploring how to measure and interpret emotional states in users with the use of physiological measurements.
The Effects of Emotions and Their Regulation on Decision–making Performance in Affective (Digital) Serious Games
Emotions are thought to be one of the key factors that critically influence human decision–making. Emotion–regulation can help to mitigate emotion–related decision biases and eventually lead to a better decision performance. Serious games emerged as a new angle introducing technological methods to learning emotion–regulation, where meaningful biofeedback information communicates player’s emotional states on–line to a series of informed gameplay choices. These findings motivate the notion that in the decision context of a serious game, one would benefit from awareness and regulation of such emerging emotions. The results showed the benefits of practicing emotion–regulation in serious games, where decision–making performance was increased for the individuals who down–regulated high levels of arousal while having a positive–velanced emotional experience. Moreover, it increased also for the individuals who received the necessary biofeedback information. Furthermore, the results suggested that two different emotion–regulation strategies (i.e., suppression and cognitive reappraisal) are highly dependent on the serious game context, while reappraisal strategy was shown to benefit the decision–making tasks investigated in this presentation. Taking these findings into consideration, the (digital) serious games presented allowed for the training of cognitive reappraisal emotion–regulation strategy on a decision–making task. It is suggested that using such evaluated design and development methods it is possible to design and develop (digital) serious games that provide a helpful environment where individuals could practice emotion–regulation through raising awareness of emotions, and subsequently improve their decision–making performance.