Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science




Psychology; Human-Computer Interaction

First Advisor

Craig A Anderson


The effects of video games and virtual simulations have long been researched, and we know that engaging in these games and situations can have a multitude of effects. We know that video games and simulations can have effects on people training to become surgeons (Duque, Fung, Mallet, Posel, & Fleiszer, 2008; Rosser et al., 2007; Seymour et al., 2002), fly planes (Dennis & Harris, 1998), to drive (Ivancic & Hesketh, 2010), military training (Williamson et al., 2011; Curry et al., 2016), golf (Pohira-Vieth, 2010), and can even have other uses such as training for physical therapy (Betker, Desai, Nett, Kapadia, & Szturm, 2007). However, do these effects translate to everyday gaming habits, and could they teach participants to shoot a gun or putt a golf ball? Moreover, are these effects altered at all by the introduction of virtual reality? We also know that willingness to engage with a task is determined by familiarity with the task, attitudes towards the task, and confidence in completing the task (also known as self-efficacy; Bandura, 1977b), so does exposure to activates and skill in virtual environments (such as video games) increase one's self-efficacy? Discussed is a study where 100 participants engaged in a training module to model practicing shooting a gun or putting a golf ball, and to measure whether exposure to practicing these skills in a virtual environment (versus a 2D gaming environment) will lead to greater confidence, changed attitudes, and more willing to engage in these tasks in the real world. Results found that while practicing putting or shooting showed increases in specific task performance and self-efficacy, these were not moderated by how participants practiced these skills (in real-life, VR, VR, by a traditional video game setup). However, these results need further research due to concerns such as statistical power when looking at interactions.


Copyright Owner

Andreas Miles-Novelo



File Format


File Size

79 pages