Game-based IS features are popular means to change behavior. While existing studies indicate a successful impact of gamified IS features, others show opposite effects. However, there are no studies that have investigated the underlying motivational processes of single gamified IS features and the additional possible support of subliminally primed IS features for the desired goal attainment. To address this gap, we examine the interaction between users and the gamified feature ‘Ranking’ on concentration enhancement, while studying the moderation effects of self-efficacy and a subliminally primed IS feature in a laboratory experiment (N=407). Therefore, our paper sheds light on the theoretically and practically relevant question: how can gamification features lead to proper interaction with the user to effectively support desired goal attainment. The results show varying reactions of either positive or negative feedback, to the ranking, depending on individual’s self-efficacy. While test persons with low self-efficacy show better performance results receiving negative feedback, participants with high self-efficacy perceptions reveal better performance rates receiving positive feedback. Furthermore, we could not observe a significant impact of the subliminally primed feature regarding mechanisms of the consciously perceived game feature ‘Ranking’ on concentration enhancement.
Ebermann, Carolin; Brauer, Benjamin; Brendel, Alfred; and Kolbe, Lutz, (2017). "DECODING THE MOTIVATIONAL BLACK BOX – THE CASE OF RANKING, SELF-EFFICACY, AND SUBLIMINAL PRIMING". In Proceedings of the 25th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Guimarães, Portugal, June 5-10, 2017 (pp. 80-97). ISBN 978-989-20-7655-3 Research Papers.