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Basic Needs in Games (BANG)

The Basic Needs in Games (BANGS) is an open-access, free to use scale that assesses the degree of need satisfaction and frustration experienced during video game play. This questionnaire can be used to help understand outcomes such as video game enjoyment, engagement, in-game behavior, and player wellbeing. 

Players’ basic psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness are among the most commonly used constructs used in research on what makes video games so engaging, and how they might support or undermine user wellbeing. However, existing measures of basic psychological needs in games have some important limitations:

(1) They either do not measure need frustration (which has emerged as a common and impactful experience in games distinct from the absence of need satisfaction), or measure it in a way that may not be appropriate for the video games domain
(2) They struggle to capture feelings of relatedness in both single- and multiplayer contexts
(3) They often lack validity evidence for certain contexts (e.g., playtesting vs experience with games as a whole).

BANGS addresses these limitations and offers a new option for measuring both need satisfaction and frustration in games. BANGS includes 6 subscales covering satisfaction and frustration of all three basic needs (autonomy, competence, and relatedness). Relatedness items are able to capture social experiences with both other players and non-player characters. Three variants of BANGS have been validated for use, with slightly different wordings to cover particular game sessions, experiences with one game over time, or experiences with gaming in general.

Scoring Instructions: (also within downloadable PDF)

We recommend simply calculating the mean of all items in each subscale (e.g., the mean of items 1, 2, and 3 for autonomy satisfaction; items 4, 5, and 6 for autonomy frustration, and so on). In general, we recommend leaving these means as unstandardized scores, which are more easily interpretable—for example, you could estimate the effect of a 1 scale point increase in autonomy satisfaction (on a 1-7 scale) on time spent playing a game. 

If you prefer to use standardized units and have experience with factor analysis, we recommend using a measurement model to calculate latent factor scores based on players’ responses to each item—this allows you to account for the fact that each item gives a different amount of information about the underlying experience. Research shows that this can have an appreciable impact on results compared to standardized mean scores. Example code for calculating latent factor scores is available here. If you are not comfortable with factor analysis but still prefer standardized scores, you can standardize manually by scaling and centering the mean subscale scores (using e.g., the scale() function in R). 

Depending on your goal, it may be appropriate to calculate the mean of all the need satisfaction items (i.e., the 9 items covering satisfaction of autonomy, competence, and relatedness) and/or the mean of all need frustration items (i.e., the 9 items covering frustration of autonomy, competence, and relatedness) as holistic indications of overall need satisfaction and frustration. Note, however, that this will result in the loss of information about which needs are more satisfied or frustrated.

We do not recommend calculating a score of all 18 items together (e.g., subtracting the mean of all need frustration items from the mean of all need satisfaction items)—need satisfaction and frustration are separate constructs with different consequences, and should therefore be used and interpreted separately.

Daily Teacher Autonomy Practices – Student Report (DTAP-SR)

The DTAP-student report measures students’ perceptions of the extent to which their teacher in a specific class and context used practices intended to support or thwart autonomy on a given day. The measure was developed for research designs that focus on the repeated measurement of students’ daily experiences of teacher practice (e.g., dairy studies, intensive longitudinal designs). Items were based on prior measures used in cross-sectional research (Assor et al., 2002; 2005; Belmont, Skinner, Wellborn, & Connell, 1992; Katz, Kaplan & Gueta, 2009; Patall et al., 2013; Reeve & Jang, 2006; Reeve, Jang, Carrell, Jeon, & Barch, 2004; Wellborn & Connell, 1987). As such, subscales for each teacher practice are relative brief. The measure contains 27 items to assess six supportive daily practices and three thwarting daily practices. Supportive practices include: (a) provision of choices (5 items); (b) consideration for student interests (3 items); (c) rationales regarding the importance of course material (4 items); (d) student question opportunities (3 items); (e) opportunities for students to express negative affect (2 items); and (f) encouraging and informational feedback* (3 items). Thwarting teacher practices include (g) controlling messages (3 items), (h) suppression of student perspectives (3 items), and (i) uninteresting activities (2 items). In priori research, secondary and post-secondary students have rated the extent to which they agree with each item on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from not at all true (1) to extremely true (5). However, the rating scale can be adapted for the specific purpose of the research and for the specific target population.

Player Experience of Needs Satisfaction (PENS)

The beginning empirical work applying SDT to video games by Ryan, Rigby, and Przybylski (2006) led to a new measure of need satisfaction in play – the Player Experience of Need Satisfaction (PENS) model. In that original work, Ryan et al. assumed that successful games were highly intrinsically motivating, yielding significant satisfactions of basic needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness. They conducted four studies involving various types of games that demonstrated that both game preferences and behavioral and psychological measures of intrinsic motivation for playing them were predicted by basic psychological need satisfaction during play. In other words, basic need satisfaction was found to be the pathway to enjoyable and engaging game experiences and to people’s motivation to persist at them. 

These findings also highlighted how specific factors within successful video games enhanced the three need satisfactions thus increasing intrinsic motivation and engagement. Those factors included:

having controls that were easily mastered; feedback that was clear and consistent; choices regarding goals and strategies; and, opportunities for cooperative social interaction enhanced these need satisfactions. Since that original work, there have been a number of studies predicting how features of games either effectively evoke or undermine psychological satisfactions for autonomy, competence, and relatedness, and thus impact players’ intrinsic motivation, enjoyment, and sustained engagement (e.g., Przybylski, Deci, Rigby, & Ryan, 2014; Rigby, 2014; Rigby & Ryan, 2011).

Motivation to have a Child Scale (MCS)

This scale aims to measure individuals’ motivation for becoming parents. The scale is an adaptation of the Motivation to have a Child Scale (MCS; Gauthier et al., 2007), which was developed to assess the quality of motivation to have a child. Although the original MCS was a promising measure to assess motives for parenthood, some of the correlations between the types of motivation were not fully in line with the simplex-like structure expected on the basis of SDT (Gauthier et al., 2007). Therefore, Brenning et al. (2015) made a couple of adaptations to further optimize the instrument. The resulting measure includes 20 items (see below) rated on a five-point Likert-type scale ranging from 1 (do not agree at all) to 5 (strongly agree). Each item is presented with the introductory stem “An important reason for me to have a child is . . .” Depending on the research interests, the questionnaire can be administered before, during or after pregnancy, in both women and men.

Regulation of Eating Behavior Scale (REBS)

The REBS comprises 24 items with six subscales (4 items each) representing different types of behavioral regulation styles: three subscales represent more autonomous forms of regulation (intrinsic, integrated, and identified), two subscales represent more controlled forms of regulation (introjected and extrinsic), and one subscale represents a lack of intent to act or to self-regulate (amotivation).

Motivations for Personal Financial Management Scale (MPFMS)

The Motivations for Personal Financial Management Scale assesses individual differences in people’s motivations for managing their finances. Based on Self-Determination Theory, it features a format and scoring system similar to other Self-Regulation Questionnaires.

This version of the scale focuses on motivations in three financial areas: budgeting, paying bills, and learning. Several ongoing studies are investigating its psychometric properties, and it is expected to undergo further development and refinement. Currently, the scale is provided to support others’ research but should be viewed as an initial effort in measuring these constructs.

Situations in School Physical Education (SIS-PE)

The Situations in School questionnaire lists 12 different teaching situations that commonly occur during classroom instruction.  For each situation, four ways a teacher might handle that situation are presented.  There are no right or wrong answers.  Instead, you are asked to indicate how much each way of handling the situation does or does not describe what your teacher has done in the past—in similar situations.  If the way of teaching describes extremely well what your teacher has done to handle the situation, then circle a number near 7 for that item.  If the way of teaching does not describe at all what your teacher has done in the past, circle a number near 1. If the way of teaching only somewhat describes your teacher, circle a number near 4, using the following 7-point scale:

1234567
Does not describe my teacher at all  Somewhat describes my teacher  Describes my teacher extremely well

There are 15 classroom situations, and each one lists 4 different ways a teacher might respond to that situation.  So, a completed questionnaire provides 60 total responses.

Language Learning Questionnaires (LLQ)

Various scales are used in studies of language learning, often in languages other than English. You can find a selection here.

Autonomy Support Questionnaire (ASQ)

The Autonomy Support Questionnaire (ASQ) derived from the “Friendship Autonomy Support Questionnaire (FASQ)” developed by Deci, La Guardia, Moller, Scheiner, & Ryan, 2006. The FASQ was used to assess an individual’s perception of the degree to which a close friend is generally autonomy supportive within the relationship.  

Legate, Ryan, & Weinstein (2012) adapted and elaborated on the FASQ to assess the degree to which an individual perceives autonomy support versus pressure and control

of family, school, coworkers, religious community, and the lesbian, gay and bisexual community. These elaborated scales would become the ASQ.

Specifically, the ASQ outlined the following five contexts (specifying the target):

  1. Family
  2. Friends
  3. Coworkers
  4. School Peers
  5. Religious Community

The individual items by contexts can be found on the following pages below.