Gameful experiences : The not so painful road to gainful behavior

Sammanfattning: The aim of this work is to investigate the experiences that users make when using gamified services and the effect that such experiences have on the targeted behavioral outcomes. Considerable attention is dedicated to the gameful experience, since this experience is necessary for gamification to affect the target behavior. Moreover, the effectiveness of gamification at triggering different motivational mechanisms and the role of engagement is investigated.This dissertation contains three papers. Paper 1 uses a mixed-methods approach to develop a model and a measure of the gameful experience. Paper 2 uses a field experimental approach to investigate the effect of gamification on a decision to use offers in a store, and the role of engagement for this effect to occur. Finally, Paper 3 uses a field experiment to investigate the contribution of gamification to value creation in stores and how such value creation relates to brand engagement.The first main finding is a model of the gameful experience that includes the dimensions of accomplishment, challenge, competition, guided, immersion, playfulness, and social experience, and the instrument for measuring this experience. The second main finding is that challenge-based gamification can induce positive affect, which can influence evaluative judgments (thus utilizing the affective quality of System 1 to change the target behavior) and, ultimately, brand engagement. However, such challenge-based gamification does not seem to be effective when aiming to affect the biased System 1 through effort justification. The third main finding is the results that indicate that a user needs to be engaged in order for a gamified service to work properly.