Feminine gamification viewpoint: gender differences in moral dilemma’s
Research published by the Society for Personality and Social Psychology indicates that when deciding about moral dilemma’s women are more likely to have a stronger emotional aversion to causing harm no matter what the consequences were. The study found no differences between gender when rationally sizing up the potential harmful outcome of the situation.
Participants were asked 20 questions that posed various moral dilemmas, including decisions about murder, torture, lying, abortion, and animal research.
“Women are more likely to have a gut-level negative reaction to causing harm to an individual, while men experience less emotional responses to doing harm,” said lead research author Rebecca Friesdorf. The finding contradicts the common stereotype that women being more emotional means that they are also less rational, Friesdorf says.
My immediate wonder went to how this would play out in online games, are women also the less harming and killing player or do they by default choose not to engage in these situations. Personally I am not big on anything violent when it comes to games, but if I have a sense that I can win in a game, I will go for it.
I believe where this research is of interest though is in enterprise gamification, where in addition to role definition this may play a part in why women maybe don’t climb the corporate ladder as fast, out of fear to harm others in the team.
When designing corporate gamification I would look into building choice options with feedback hints so the outcome may outweigh the emotion. I remember holding a scenario based training session on ethics and I used major negative PR stories from organisations where people had to make choices between more or lesser evils. One group was male only and the other mixed gender, the latter group found it a lot harder to come to a decision on what to do in any given situation, which was interesting. Often the reason for it was that the ladies in the group had very good arguments how some actions would be ultimately more harmful.
Where do you see moral dilemma’s popping up in enterprise gamification?