Colloquium - Lynn Miller


Colloquium - Lynn Miller

Biotech Auditorium

May 4, 2011 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Developing SOLVE‐IT (Socially Optimized Learning in Virtual Environments Using Intelligent/Gaming Technologies): An Intervention for Young MSM to be Assessed Nationally Over the Web

SOLVE integrates traditional cognitive approaches (e.g., social‐cognitive interventions modeling cognitive and behavioral skills), while addressing MSM's affect‐ based and reactive risky decision‐making processes, by giving them experience with risk cues in a safe, virtual environment. SOLVE has been found to reduce UAI compared to a wait‐list control for three ethnic populations (Black/African‐American, Latino/Hispanic, White/Caucasian) of younger (18‐24 year old) MSM. However, interactive video technology (SOLVEIAV) is limited. SOLVE‐IT, an NIMH funded serious game with intelligent agents, provides a richer set of challenging, more personalized, interpersonal risk situations (with a future virtual self who guides the character's decision making). Discussed are both the integrative implementation of existing empirical research and theory to construct an intervention (that will be tested nationally over the web in a randomized controlled trial) and the use of formative pilot studies to address new research questions that emerge in this process. For example, how should we frame messages when users have made a safer or riskier choice within the game? The effects of loss or gain frame messages given after a risky or safer choice differ substantially from what conventional theory might predict. The SOLVE‐IT development process, pilot results, and lessons learned, are described. Clips will be presented from the SOLVE‐IT materials and parts of the SOLVE‐IT game will be demonstrated. Also discussed will be the use of intelligent agents/simulations to model individual cases of users in the game and the promise of that approach.

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