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Those with high levels of social anxiety can struggle with their communication skills, and confidence in communication. By using a virtual platform such as Zoom to communicate with others, individuals with social anxiety have shown decreased levels of anxiety, even noting that they prefer the virtual platform over face-to-face encounters (Yen et al., 2012). Video games can increase this level of anonymity that could be felt through zoom, by removing the ability to see the other individual’s face. This gives video games the opportunity to decrease anxiety levels while still requiring a degree of communication. Participants will be randomly sorted into pairs within one of two groups; competitive and cooperative to test if the type of game can affect communication levels.
The Liebowitz Social Anxiety Scale will be used in order to determine the individual’s social anxiety level of participants prior to testing (Heimburg, et al., 1999). It is expected that the individuals paired in the cooperative group will have a greater increase in confidence and ability to communicate than those who are paired in the competitive group. Overall it is hypothesized that the results will reflect that those with higher levels of social anxiety as determined by the Liebowitz Social Anxiety scale will have a more significant drop in anxiety in comparison to those who have a lower score in social anxiety.
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Quigley, Ana S., "Analyzing the effects of Video Games on Social Anxiety and Communication" (2023). Senior Projects Spring 2023. 126.
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