Does the Scoring Method Used in a Game Affect Learning? An Empirical Examination of a Human Resources Task
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Games have been used for centuries as a tool to foster the learning process. When designed well, they have demonstrated an ability to motivate people to improve their skills and capabilities. Scoring mechanisms in games involve different strategies to improve a participant’s motivation to perform well. Is the most conducive scoring method for learning providing points for good decisions, or is a scoring method that rewards points for good decisions and deducts points for poor decisions more effective? We conduct an empirical study where entry-level human resources workers (N=42) from 6 countries learn to model the behavior of experts and rate résumés on a 10-point scale. We find that a reward-only scoring mechanism benefits the learning process over one that both rewards and punishes. The reward-only scoring mechanism also provides more variability in the ratings assigned, meaning participants are more open to taking risks with their selections.