Task Demand and Mood Repair: The Intervention Potential of Computer Games

Nicholas Bowman, R. Tamborini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


It is argued that computer game play has great potential to intervene in noxious mood states because it is a more demanding task than consuming other forms of media. From mood management theory, this increased intervention potential should make computer games particularly adept mood repair agents. To test this assertion, a study was conducted that varied levels of task demand (our operationalization of intervention potential) in a computer game to examine mood repair for bored and stressed individuals. Results show that increasing the amount of control an individual has over a mediated environment significantly increases that medium’s intervention potential. This increase in intervention potential results in an enhanced ability to relieve boredom and stress, but too much task demand is detrimental to mood repair.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1339-1357
JournalDefault journal
StatePublished - 2012


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