Political agenda: Designing a cognitive game for political perspective taking

Matthew W. Easterday, Yanna Krupnikov, Colin Fitzpatrick, Salwa Barhumi, Alexis Hope

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Engaged citizenship requires understanding why different ideologies lead to different policy positions. However, we know little about political perspective taking. How might we use games to teach citizens political perspective taking? This paper describes a design research project to develop a cognitive game for political perspective taking. Study 1 describes a political perspective taking measure created through expert and novice task analysis. Study 2 surveyed 187 undergraduate students and found relatively poor political perspective taking ability. Study 3 tests an educational game for political perspective taking and found that the game was engaging but did not promote learning. Study 4 describes a technical exploration testing the feasibility of a cognitive game with intelligent tutoring for scaffolding complex reasoning on political perspectives. This work argues games can teach political perspective taking using: (a) moral foundations theory, (b) fantasy environments that ask players to predict policy positions, and (c) embedded intelligent tutors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-66
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Gaming and Computer-Mediated Simulations
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017


  • Civic education
  • Cognitive games
  • Design research
  • Educational games
  • Intelligent tutoring
  • Moral reasoning
  • Political perspective taking
  • Serious games

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications


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