Review Article

Gamification in psychological assessment in South Africa: A narrative review

Yaseerah Akoodie
African Journal of Psychological Assessment | Vol 2 | a24 | DOI: | © 2020 Yaseerah Akoodie | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 21 January 2020 | Published: 10 September 2020

About the author(s)

Yaseerah Akoodie, Psychology Department, Faculty of Humanities, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa


Gamification is defined as the implementation of game design elements in real-world contexts for non-gaming purposes. Gamification is increasingly being used in psychological assessment as it is thought to increase the attractiveness, motivation and performance of test takers. The ease of use of gaming principles is also a strong enabling factor for gamification in assessment. However, not much is known about the field in the South African context. Hence, this article uses the narrative review method to present the latest research on gamification in assessment. More specifically, the article discusses the benefits, costs, validity and scoring methods used with gamification in assessment. Research was conducted through electronic databases as well as the World Wide Web using Google Content analysis. Based on the review it was evident that individuals performed similarly in traditional and gamified assessments. Based on the results, the use of gamification was shown to decrease anxiety and stress and to increase motivation, loyalty and efficiency, especially in corporate environments. Despite the benefits, critics point out that gamification may be viewed as less important because of the inclusion of game elements as candidates may pay less attention to the assessment than required. Further, gamification has the ability to manipulate individuals as well as to bias certain groups of individuals that may be more accustomed to the use of technology than others. This raises ethical concerns, which are discussed in the article. The results also demonstrate a gap in research and practice in South African contexts with few gamified assessments available in the market.


artificial intelligence; game-based assessment; gamification; gamified assessments; psychological assessment


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