Honors Research Day 2020: Justin Solleder


Please introduce yourself.

“My name is Justin Solleder and I am in the 4+1 combined degree program for general/theoretical psychology at the Metropolitan Campus.”

What is the title of your project? What is it all about?

“My thesis title is ‘Player Motivation and Avatar Identity: Factors Related to Player Enjoyment.’ It explores what motivates people to play video games, and how these motivations relate to their connection to their characters, video game addiction symptoms, and their enjoyment of the game.”

Why did you choose to pursue this research? Why does it matter to you and why should it matter to others?

“This research is important to me because growing up, my mother had medical issues and was unable to leave the house often. We would often play online video games together, because she was able to socialize, and do fun activities with her friends that she couldn’t do in real life. Thus, I wanted to study why people play video games, and both the negative and positive aspects of these motivations.”

What has the experience of completing your thesis been like? 

“The journey to complete my thesis was an incredible one. Video game Addiction Disorder, and video game research in general is still a relatively new field in psychology. Thus, there are tons of factors to consider and many unanswered questions to explore. Every day of the project I was learning something new and reading and writing about topics that interested me. My mentor, professor Benjamin Freer, has been an incredible source of guidance during this journey. He was always as dedicated to my project as I was, and would always give me wonderful feedback to drive my thesis to be the best that it can be.”

How do you feel that the Honors program has benefited you during your FDU career, as well as moving forward? Why should new students consider joining the program?

“The honors program gave me the opportunity to push myself academically beyond what I thought myself capable of. I realize that there aren’t many people who can say that they designed and performed a full research study on a relevant topic in the field, while still an undergraduate student! However, the Honors program has given me the opportunity to do that and I’m so grateful for it. Beyond the research thesis, it’s also introduced me to many wonderful students, staff, and faculty who have made my college experience so memorable. I would strongly recommend that any student interested in the program should join. Many of my most memorable moments here at FDU have been either at an Honors function, or with people I met in the program.”

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