Kindness is contagious: Exploring engagement in a gamified persuasive intervention for wellbeing

Ana Ciocarlan, Judith Masthoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
18 Downloads (Pure)


Students are continually exposed to a variety of stressors during their academic career, and this can have significant negative effects on their mental health and subjective wellbeing. In this paper we explore how gamified persuasive interventions can promote engagement in performing random acts of kindness to improve wellbeing and help students manage stressors more effectively. In a pilot study we investigated how participation levels in a gamified persuasive intervention that promotes random acts of kindness at University, are influenced by (1) different persuasive message types, and (2) different game challenge categories. Furthermore, we analysed the impact on behavioural intention by comparing pre-intention and post-intention to perform random acts of kindness. Participants were assigned 5 different quests each morning, for two days, and asked to complete as many as possible by the end of each day. Participants were divided into 2 groups and received different types of persuasive notifications during the day: Group A received messages that set out group goals and used the social comparison strategy, while Group B received messages that set out individual goals and used the self-monitoring strategy. The findings from the pilot study will inform the design of a larger study to investigate persuasive game-based interventions for subjective wellbeing.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalCEUR Workshop Proceedings
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2017
EventPositive Gaming: Workshop on Gamification and Games for Wellbeing: A CHI PLAY ’17 Workshop - , Netherlands
Duration: 15 Oct 201715 Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

The authors would like to acknowledge and thank all the volunteers who participated in this pilot study and provided helpful comments. The first author is funded by an EPSRC doctoral training grant.


  • Adaptation
  • Engagement
  • Kindness
  • Personality
  • Persuasive Games
  • Rewards
  • Wellbeing


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