Event Title

Gamification and Storytelling Principles for Mental Health Support

Location

Emily Berens

Start Date

10-5-2022 10:00 AM

Description

Recent research has shown that mental health applications geared at providing treatment options for conditions such as depression and anxiety utilize extrinsic motivators like digital rewards to support users. This approach is not effective in the long term because these methods only temporarily gratify and motivate the user to continue the application. This research investigates better mental health support methods through the targeting of intrinsic motivators instead, and in the process creating a prototype from the accumulated information. In this meta-synthesis study, literature was compiled and analyzed about gamification principles, motivation, behavior intervention, and storytelling. Using the results from this research, a digital “Choose Your Own Adventure Story” was decided on and developed informing people of different mental health interventions, but not substituting as medical advice. Originally, the point of the research was to create a mobile app for mental health support, however, findings have shown that current methods are not as effective for sustained engagement, so a less common yet potentially effective alternative method of support was explored: storytelling. The “Outcome Stories” within the narrative immersion model are proven to better persuade people when making decisions for their well-being, while conveying an experience of desirable behaviors. In conclusion, this research not only advances current knowledge about the impact of storytelling in mental health applications, but the prototype developed creates a meaningful experience for the user to educate themselves with.

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May 10th, 10:00 AM

Gamification and Storytelling Principles for Mental Health Support

Emily Berens

Recent research has shown that mental health applications geared at providing treatment options for conditions such as depression and anxiety utilize extrinsic motivators like digital rewards to support users. This approach is not effective in the long term because these methods only temporarily gratify and motivate the user to continue the application. This research investigates better mental health support methods through the targeting of intrinsic motivators instead, and in the process creating a prototype from the accumulated information. In this meta-synthesis study, literature was compiled and analyzed about gamification principles, motivation, behavior intervention, and storytelling. Using the results from this research, a digital “Choose Your Own Adventure Story” was decided on and developed informing people of different mental health interventions, but not substituting as medical advice. Originally, the point of the research was to create a mobile app for mental health support, however, findings have shown that current methods are not as effective for sustained engagement, so a less common yet potentially effective alternative method of support was explored: storytelling. The “Outcome Stories” within the narrative immersion model are proven to better persuade people when making decisions for their well-being, while conveying an experience of desirable behaviors. In conclusion, this research not only advances current knowledge about the impact of storytelling in mental health applications, but the prototype developed creates a meaningful experience for the user to educate themselves with.