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Cyberpsychol Behav. 2006 Jun;9(3):317-24.

Psychological motives and online games addiction: a test of flow theory and humanistic needs theory for Taiwanese adolescents.

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General Education Center, Kaohsiung Hospitality College, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.


Obviously, the negative impact of online games has received much attention as well as having become a popular research topic. This research explored, from flow theory and humanistic needs theory, the psychological motivations of Taiwanese adolescents who are addicted to online games. The purpose of Study 1 was to investigate the relationship between players' flow state and their online games addiction. The results indicated that flow state was negatively correlated with addictive inclination and it was not a significant predictor for players' subsequent additive inclination. Findings also revealed that the addicts' flow state was significantly lower than the nonaddicts. Thus, flow state might not be the key psychological mechanism of players' addiction. In Study 2, the results showed that the psychological needs of players of online games were close to the two-factor theory which depicts satisfaction and dissatisfaction dimensions. Addicted players' need-gratification was similar to the feature of dissatisfactory factor. That is, the absence of playing online games is more likely to generate sense of dissatisfaction; the addicts' compulsive use of online games seems to stem from the relief of dissatisfaction rather than the pursuit of satisfaction. In contrast, online games tend to provide the nonaddicts with a sense of satisfaction rather than a sense of dissatisfaction.

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