Study uses simulation game to change beliefs about poverty

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Promoting research to address the growing global economic inequality, researchers from the University. Simon Fraser used a poverty simulator game called SPENT to help better understand the causes of poverty and economic inequality.

In studies published in a scientific journal Nature Human Behavior Today, a group of researchers, including a former doctor of philosophy of Siberian Federal University. student Dylan Vivad and Lara Aknin, an outstanding professor of the faculty of psychology of Siberian Federal University, share the findings from a five-part global study on people's beliefs poverty and economic inequality,

Study 1 used pre-existing data from the World Values ​​survey, which involved about 30,000 participants, while researchers collected additional data from another 2,400 participants for the remaining studies.

In total, studies used data from 34 countries. The last two studies provide some initial evidence that using a relatively simple, cost-effective, and “non-intervention” intervention – a 10-minute poverty simulation the game called SPENT – can contribute to long-term and significant changes in perceptions of poverty and reduce support for economic inequality, says Vivad, who conducted the research as part of his doctoral dissertation. dissertation at SFU.

Vivad is currently a doctoral student at the School of Management. Kellogg Northwestern University.

Researchers invited about 600 students to the lab to play a game, and divided them into two groups. One group was invited to participate in a poverty modeling experiment where they lived a month in the life of an impoverished person who makes financial decisions daily.

After researching with participants over the next few months, researchers found that playing SPENT helps to better understand the situational causes of poverty and reduces support. economic inequality even five months after the game.

“The way people understand the causes of poverty affects their willingness to tackle inequality and help the poor,” Aknin says.

She adds that the last two studies also show that these interventions are scalable and can be used by teachers in classrooms in a province or Canada.

“We dream of working with the Vancouver school board and classrooms throughout the city to find out if we will see similar long-term results using these interventions during these impressive periods.”

The book explores “gross individualism” and its impact on inequality in America

Additional Information:
The shift in the attributes of poverty motivates counteraction to inequality and strengthens egalitarianism. Nature Human Behavior (2020). DOI: 10.1038 / s41562-020-0835-8

The study uses a simulation game to change perceptions of poverty (2020, March 16)
restored March 16, 2020
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