Linking volitional preferences for emotional information to social difficulties: A game approach using the microsoft kinect
Emotional intelligence has been positively associated with social competence. In addition, attentional responses to emotional information have been associated with psychological characteristics related to mental health. In this study, we used the Microsoft Kinect platform as a tool to examine relationships between responses to emotional information in a gameplay environment and psychological factors. 45 typically developing individuals participated in the study, which involved 1) the Kinect game, requiring participants to engage in unprompted volitional whole-body responses to emotional stimuli, and 2) psychosocial assessments such as the Broader Autism Phenotype Questionnaire (BAPQ) and the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI). Principal component analysis revealed patterns of gameplay that were associated with psychological characteristics of individuals. Preference for emotional content in general was associated with fewer social difficulties. The present work offers preliminary support for utilizing Kinect video games to understand emotion orienting and social capabilities, and shows that implicit patterns of preference identified during gameplay may relate to psychological and psychiatric phenomena. While the issues are complex and further research is needed, this work may inform the development of novel approaches to diagnostic and therapeutic tools.