Can you rise your level of mental safety and curiosity at work-related by an altering how friend look at failure? ns explored whether civilization who identify as gamers perform this.

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Hi all! My surname is Kristen Toohill, and I recently finished composing my doctoral dissertation! WOOOOO!

I wondered if people who identify as gamers are much more likely to try new things, fail, and try again at work. Gamers repeat these actions often while play games, and these an abilities might deliver to other areas of life.

So I carried out two surveys. Together, lock explored: 1) whether identifying as a gamer enhanced an individual’s level of psychological safety in a occupational team; and also 2) even if it is that, in turn, boosted the individual’s exploratory curiosity actions at work. Ns was excited to discover these ideas since if gamers do experience much more safety and curiosity at work, then it’s feasible that non-gamers can find out to think favor gamers and also experience these benefits together well.

The Gamer identity Innovation version proposes the identifying together a gamer might increase mental safety and also curiosity in ~ work.

Who space gamers, really?

Social identity theory is all around who girlfriend are and what teams you’re a component of. “Gamer” is an identity that you might (or could not) choose to attach with. It’s specifically flexible category, because the team is identified by its link to—and consumption of—a form of media. Being a gamer is a tie of shared meanings, beliefs, and also experiences v others, which results in shared social and society capital and also a mutual language (such as sector terms and jargon).

Importantly, not everyone that plays games identifies together a gamer. Not every human being who dram a video game turns “I play games!” right into a core component of your identity…but human being who identify as gamers do. I offered a demographic inquiry at the finish of the surveys to ask participants even if it is or not they identified as a gamer.

Maybe gift a gamer will offer you a 1up ~ above life! photo credit:

If at first you don’t succeed…


At Happy brain Science, we love emotional safety! You’ve most likely seen it together a significant theme in our blog posts and also in our book.

Psychological safety is the unspoken and unwritten expertise that the is for sure for people to candidly express your needs and their fail in a team setting. I offered Edmondson’s (1999, 2019) scale to test inspection respondents’ level of mental safety in their work-related teams.

A typical gamer is conditioned to respond to failure by easily learning indigenous it and trying again. Fantastic and an extensive book top top this topic is Juul’s The arts of Failure, which explores how games require this failure-and-learning cycle as we play them. This approach to discovering is highly psychologically for sure and, theoretically, must be semi-transferable to different situations… such as finding out on the job.

Curiosity improved the cat’s job-related life

It transforms out the being curious about curiosity deserve to lead you down a rabbit hole that fascinating information! Curiosity come in numerous flavors. The kind I’m interested in is specific epistemic curiosity, or exactly how much civilization are self-motivated come learn details that will help them in your jobs.

I used the job-related Curiosity range to measure it as part of my second survey.


I performed two surveys. The first one verified that gamers did have a lot much more psychological safety and security at work than non-gamers! This was very exciting—but the results essential to it is in taken through a serial of salt. Ns only had actually 8 self-identified gamers in a sample the 110 people, so it can have been a fluke…which is why ns tested these ideas again!

My second survey had much more modest findings. This data collection indicated that identifying as a gamer and also having a high level of psychological safety at work are more than likely not related (i.e., the correlation wasn’t statistically significant)—and even if castle were connected (since it to be close!), they will do only influence one one more a little bit. This data set had more gamers in it—44 out of 170 people—so its results might be more compelling than the first data set…except the I had actually the unenviable experience of gathering my dissertation data throughout a global pandemic!

Psychological safety usually flourishes once there is a lack of ambiguity, and also stress go strange points to the brain. The reality that I accumulated my second set that data in the center of 2020—when the whole people was extremely ambiguous and stressful—might have actually skewed my data.

I’m plan on running a 3rd study post-COVID. I’m wait for the world to settle into its brand-new Normal for this reason I can gather much more data and explore further! until then I’ll it is in gaming away, thinking around the connections in between how ns work and how ns play.

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Want to check out more?

My dissertation will be published once I graduate (around June 2021). It will certainly be open-access, so anyone deserve to read the (i.e., it won’t be behind an scholastic paywall). Until then, feel cost-free to leave a comment here—I could talk about games in the rectal all day!

We’d love come hear her thoughts about how her mindset and also hobbies can help you at work.Thanks because that commenting below, connecting through us through any kind of of our society media channels, or contacting united state here.