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Gamification Psychology


August 6, 2019



Gamification Psychology

Gamification is backed by various psychologists and scholars, due to its proven performance effectiveness. Gamification experiences are made worthwhile when employees are able to increase their engagement and information retention in an immersive and positive learning environment.

Gamification provides a positive user experience to learners, leading to a boost in productivity, engagement and loyalty. All of these factors are pivotal in constructing the most successful learning strategy.

What is it all about?

To put it simply, gamification is the incorporation of gaming elements into serious course content. This includes leader boards, point scores, star bars and real prizing. Gamification motivates employees, contributing to competition amongst learners. Instilling curiosity in learners assists in their encouragement to explore different ways of learning.

The Evidence

According to ResearchGate, 50% of startups recently reported they use gamification in their training strategy for a noticeable difference in employee performance. Gamification taps into our subconscious to increase the way in which we engage in and make sense of learning material.

Real-World Examples


Duolingo is a language-learning platform, digitally assessing users’ language proficiency. The construct of Duolingo is based on gamification, proven to have an engaging and productive effect on learners.


SC Training (formerly EdApp)

SC Training (formerly EdApp) is a mobile learning management system (LMS) with an integrated authoring tool, spaced repetition and gamification. SC Training (formerly EdApp) provides the ‘LMS for success’ to giant industry leaders to deliver better learning outcomes for their employees.


The Psychology

Learning is controlled by the user

The core of gamification is to make your learner feel completely in control. Letting them take the wheel is essential for maximum employee engagement. Simple psychology.

Learning that can be kept track of

Learners feel comfortable when they are aware of where they stand in their progress, which is why it is important to provide tracking tools. Progress bars, star bars and point scores all provide closure to learners to know where they lie in the process of their training.

Triggers achievement

Instilling a sense of achievement in learners is the first step to an empowered and dedicated employee. It is one of the most positively enforcing factors to reach employee training success. Being able to complete modules or levels, along with positive messages, results in users coming back. Yep, we’re talking a simple ‘nice work!’.

Goals can be set and reached

In the learning world, goals are important for continuous motivation and to encourage us to push ourselves beyond our previous record.

A sense of competition is introduced

Healthy competition amongst ourselves and colleagues is where we pull all of the tricks out of the bag. We are much more likely to fulfil our potential when we have learners to compete against.

Rewards and recognition

The only to R’s you need to remember when constructing your ideal employee training strategy are rewards and recognition. These are both effective psychological drivers, applicable to almost all gamification platforms. Recognition intrinsically motivates employees, whilst reward is a form of extrinsic motivation. Both forms have the same effect, being to increase the productivity and information retention in employees for an intricately informed workplace.

The ability to work as a team

Collaboration in workplaces enhances the learning of employees as they feel supported and part of a network. This is exemplified in SC Training (formerly EdApp)’s peer authoring tool, whereby employees are able to leave constructive feedback in modules for the development of the most successful program. Gamification embodies teamwork as, even though they are competing against each other, employees play and learn alongside coworkers.

Dopamine, dopamine, and more dopamine

Gamification and any other sort of platform which offers instant gratification triggers a release of dopamine. It’s that little rush we feel when we achieve something or receive positive feedback. Dopamine addictions are real and gamification is a major culprit. We all want that hit.


If you would like to learn more about how to build the most effective employee training strategy!

If you’d like to know more about how SC Training (formerly EdApp)’s mobile learning platform can help your internal training practices, get in touch at enquiries@edapp.com. You can also try SC Training (formerly EdApp)’s Mobile LMS and authoring tool for free by signing up here.



Curated course examples


Guest Author Daniel Brown

Daniel Brown is a senior technical editor and writer that has worked in the education and technology sectors for two decades. Their background experience includes curriculum development and course book creation.

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