Comparing the retention and flow experience in playing Solitary and Heart Attack games of San Zi Jing: A perspective of Dual Process Theory

Jon Chao Hong, Ming Yueh Hwang*, Wen Chi Chen, Chia Ching Lee, Pei Hsin Lin, Yi Ling Chen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Most educational games require high speed process; they require fast recognitions and accurate hand-eye coordination to play. Under this constraint, Dual Process theory (DPT) indicated players have different levels of cognitive process over different games which affect their mood. Csikszentmihalyi highlighted that a flow experience is the essential psychological effect on mood and cognitive process. According to DPT, how students engage in different game design will affect their learning retention effects. The flow experiences were examined in this study in relation to Solitary and Heart Attack games of San Zi Jing (a Chinese educational poem). The present study was implemented with a sample of 209 5th and 6th grade elementary school students. The students were assigned with one of the games randomly. The results indicated that in terms of flow experiences, Heart Attack group was significantly higher than that of the Solitary group; secondly, solitary game showed a better retention rate than Heart Attack game did after one month; even though the retention rate of both type games have slight loose after one month. The results of this study suggest if the game design emphasizes on learning retention, solitary game is recommended for higher grade students. Whereas, game design for hedonic values, then Heart Attack type is recommended. Future studies may focus on additional contents and establish more trials to examine the effects of flow experiences and engagement effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)369-376
Number of pages8
JournalComputers and Education
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Architectures for educational technology system
  • Elementary education
  • Evaluation methodologies
  • Human-Computer interface
  • Interactive learning environments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Computer Science
  • Education


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