Gestalt perception relates to inferring a holistic scene from separate elements. Using this theory, an application game named Gestalt Puzzle was designed for students to play by recognizing a few parts of an image to reason the whole image of a particular object. Cognitive style can be divided into field independence (FI) and field dependence (FD) depending on individuals’ ability to identify minor components of a whole image. To understand the gameplay learning effect, this study explored how players’ field-independent cognitive style (FI-CS) interacted with their gameplay performance as the two types of cognitive styles were mediated by their self-efficacy and gameplay anxiety in a competition setting. Data from 112 sixth-grade students were collected for confirmatory factor analysis with structural equation modeling. First, participants completed a trial to familiarize themselves with the functions and mechanism of the game; second, all of the participants were divided into teams to compete against each other for 15 minutes by identifying Chinese paintings; they then completed a questionnaire. The results of this study indicated that FI-CS was positively related to gameplay self-efficacy, but negatively related to gameplay anxiety; perceived utility value could be positively predicted by gameplay self-efficacy, but negatively predicted by gameplay anxiety; and perceived value was positively related to game performance. Moreover, FI-CS was positively related to perceived value mediated by gameplay self-efficacy and gameplay anxiety. The implication of this study is that the Gestalt perception game may engage FI-CS learners with higher levels of gameplay self-efficacy, perceived value, and performance, but a lower level of gameplay anxiety. The present study findings imply that teachers can use Gestalt perception games to promote students’ learning of Taiwanese culture.
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