Thesis

Informal group hierarchy and its effects on World of Warcraft participation and general happiness

A survey was conducted on 2,293 World of Warcraft players found on the official World of Warcraft forums and reddit.com via non probability sampling. No relationship was found between increases in participants' informal job hierarchy position and decreases in the amount of time spent playing World of Warcraft per week. A positive relationship was found between decreases in job belonging and increases in hours spent playing World of Warcraft per week. Furthermore, the variable measuring informal job hierarchy position had a positive statistical effect on general happiness. Additional relationships were found between the independent variables of informal job hierarchy position, job belonging and job trust and the dependent variables of general happiness, general satisfaction and job satisfaction. Supplementary ANOVA's demonstrate a positive statistical effect for the independent variable of guild belonging on the dependent variables of general happiness, general satisfaction, and guild satisfaction. The importance of this finding is with regard to society's current hierarchical business model. Reduced informal hierarchy positions are actively suppressing workers' general happiness, general satisfaction, and job satisfaction. Findings also suggest that informal job hierarchy position, and job capital, taken together account for a good deal of variance within happiness. The results might suggest that the cumulative effects of multiple group hierarchy positions and the social capital derived from them might account for a larger percent of the variance within general happiness than previously assumed.

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