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Promoting Behavioral Intentions to Defend Victims of Bullying among College Students with an Interactive Narrative Game

Title: Promoting Behavioral Intentions to Defend Victims of Bullying among College Students with an Interactive Narrative Game.
Name(s): Wu, Yijie, author
Arpan, Laura M., Professor Directing Dissertation
Boot, Walter Richard, University Representative
Raney, Arthur A., Committee Member
Lustria, Mia Liza A., Committee Member
Florida State University, degree granting institution
College of Communication and Information, degree granting college
School of Communication, degree granting department
Type of Resource: text
Genre: Text
Doctoral Thesis
Issuance: monographic
Date Issued: 2019
Publisher: Florida State University
Place of Publication: Tallahassee, Florida
Physical Form: computer
online resource
Extent: 1 online resource (190 pages)
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Bullying and cyberbullying nowadays have become an issue that a substantial number of college students have to deal with. However, most people do not think they occur as frequently in universities as in high schools or middle schools, and few of them are willing to intervene in a bullying situation when they see one. The goal of this dissertation was to explore ways to promote victim defending behaviors among college students from two perspectives: 1) to examine the psychological and personal factors that determine college students’ behavioral intentions to help victims and 2) to investigate the effects of playing an anti-bullying interactive narrative game on behavioral intention to help victims. To fulfill this goal, two studies – one survey and one experiment – were designed. The first study was a survey to examine psychological factors (i.e., attitude, self-efficacy, injunctive norms, descriptive norms, and personal moral norms) and personal factors (i.e., age, gender, and trait empathy) that might influence behavioral intention to defend victims of bullying. Results from Study 1 showed that psychological factors like injunctive norms perceptions, self-efficacy, and personal moral norms regarding victim defending behaviors as well as personal factors including age, gender, and trait empathy can influence a college student’s intention to help victims of bullying. Following this, an experiment was conducted using a mixed 2 (Medium of Intervention: Interactive narrative game/Non-interactive narrative video) × 2 (Outcome Valence: Positive/Negative) × 2 (Time: Pre-test/Post-test) factorial design with an additional control group. The experiment investigated whether medium of intervention and outcome valence influenced college students’ behavioral intention to defend bullied victims through the mechanisms of presence, identification, counterfactual thinking, and guilt. Results from Study 2 showed that playing an anti-bulling interactive narrative game, Life is Strange, increased college students’ intention to defend victims of bullying due to its ability to facilitate internal ascription of responsibility, personal moral norms for victim defending, and empathy for victims through evoking players’ strong sense of presence in the game. Experiencing a negative outcome in the game also increased intention to help victims later via players’ feeling of guilt. These results and their implications are discussed.
Identifier: 2019_Spring_Wu_fsu_0071E_15252 (IID)
Submitted Note: A Dissertation submitted to the School of Communication in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Degree Awarded: Spring Semester 2019.
Date of Defense: April 15, 2019.
Keywords: bullying, experiment, interactive narrative, survey, video games
Bibliography Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Advisory Committee: Laura Arpan, Professor Directing Dissertation; Walter Richard Boot, University Representative; Arthur Raney, Committee Member; Mia Lustria, Committee Member.
Subject(s): Communication
Persistent Link to This Record:
Host Institution: FSU

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Wu, Y. (2019). Promoting Behavioral Intentions to Defend Victims of Bullying among College Students with an Interactive Narrative Game. Retrieved from