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dc.contributor.advisorMandryk, Regan Lee
dc.creatorDechant, Martin Johannes
dc.date.accessioned2022-05-20T21:24:25Z
dc.date.available2022-05-20T21:24:25Z
dc.date.created2022-04
dc.date.issued2022-05-20
dc.date.submittedApril 2022
dc.identifier.urihttps://hdl.handle.net/10388/13973
dc.description.abstractSocial relationships are essential for humans; neglecting our social needs can cause discomfort or even lead to the development of more severe issues such as loneliness, depression, or substance dependency. Although essential, some individuals face major challenges in forming and maintaining social relationships due to the experience of social anxiety, which is the intense fear of being evaluated by others. The burden of social anxiety can be reduced through accessible assessment that leads to treatment. However, socially anxious individuals who wish to seek help face many barriers stemming from geography, the characteristics of the fear itself, or disparities in access to systems of care. Recent research has suggested digital behavioural markers as a way to deliver cheap and easily accessible digital assessment for social anxiety that may help reduce barriers to care. However, prior work focused mostly on the relationship between social anxiety and the development of problematic gaming behaviours to cope with the potentially severe consequences of social anxiety. In this dissertation, we look at the relationship between social anxiety and digital games from the lens of assessment and analyze whether we can use digital behavioural markers embedded in a gaming task to assess the severity of social anxiety. In manuscript 1, we show that social anxiety may manifest in game and biases the preferences for in-game activities and the reasons why players play Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPGs). Further, Manuscript 2 shows that central game mechanics, such as the customization of the self-representation in-game, may affect the experience of social stress in-game. Manuscripts 3 and 4 explore the in-game movement of a player around a non-player character (NPC) and show that certain aspects of the movement path may be used to predict the degree of social anxiety. Further, we show that the camera perspective as well as the self-representation may affect the strength of these behavioural markers of social anxiety. Finally, Manuscript 5 explores how the found behavioral markers, as well as the developed gaming task, may be used to predict self-reported psychopathy---which is negatively related to social anxiety---and further shows that personal character traits manifest in-game and may explain certain phenomena such as the presence of anti-social behaviour in digital games. Overall, the results of this dissertation provide new insights about the relationship between social anxiety and its manifestation in-game, the influence of game mechanics on the experience of social stress, and how social anxiety as well as psychopathic traits may affect in-game behaviours, opening the way towards digital behavioural markers for the assessment of social anxiety.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen
dc.subjectSocial Anxiety, Digital Games, Human-Computer Interaction, Anxiety, Psychopathic Traits, Gaming, Assessment, Digital Biomarker
dc.titleSocially Anxious Play: Design, Development, and Evaluation of Game-Based Digital Behavioural Markers for the Assessment of Social Anxiety
dc.typeThesis
dc.date.updated2022-05-20T21:24:25Z
thesis.degree.departmentComputer Science
thesis.degree.disciplineComputer Science
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Saskatchewan
thesis.degree.levelDoctoral
thesis.degree.nameDoctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
dc.type.materialtext
dc.contributor.committeeMemberKlarkowski, Madison
dc.contributor.committeeMemberStavness, Ian
dc.contributor.committeeMemberOlver, Mark
dc.contributor.committeeMemberMcQuillan, Ian
dc.creator.orcid0000-0001-9073-8727


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