College of Education Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award

Fall 11-2019

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

College of Education, Doctoral Program

First Advisor

Mojdeh Bayat

Second Advisor

Marcus Hughes

Third Advisor

Gonzalo Obelleiro

Abstract

In our present time, young children are exposed to various forms of electronic media, in particular video games. Several studies have discussed the impact of video games on children’s behavior, and brain development; however, almost none have framed this impact in the context of magical thinking. By using a qualitative narrative inquiry approach and a grounded theory approach, this dissertation aimed at discussing the meaning three children (ages 4 and 5) made after playing a video game called Super Mario bros. This study answered two questions: (1) how is children’s thought processes related to the notion of reality (i.e., understanding what is real, and unreal in the video game) influenced and ultimately formed after playing a video game? (2) And as a result, how do video games impact children’s magical thinking? Findings revealed that video games have an impact on children’s thought process, and as a result, stimulate their magical thinking. A magical thinking model was created to understand the factors, which stimulate magical thinking in children. The implications of this study suggest more research needs to be done to understand the extent a child engages in a video game, and magical thinking.

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