Losing Yourself as a behaviour change mechanism

Researchers at Ohio State University examined what happened to people who, while reading a fictional story, found themselves feeling the emotions, thoughts, beliefs and internal responses of one of the characters as if they were their own – a phenomenon the researchers call “experience-taking.

In one experiment, for example, the researchers found that people who strongly identified with a fictional character who overcame obstacles to vote were significantly more likely to vote in a real election several days later.

This directly corresponds with my experience of using games to change behaviour, so it’s nice to see it written up scientifically.

‘Losing Yourself’ In A Fictional Character Can Affect Your Real Life – Ohio State Research and Innovation Communications.