Small Problems


Small problems is a gamification of the Interpretation Bias training tasks (a type of cognitive bias modification training) used in the treatment of Social Anxiety, based on a narrative game concept.


People with anxiety problems are generally inclined to automatically interpret ambiguous contextual information in a negative and threatening way, which in turn reinforces and exacerbates their anxiety symptoms. Interpretation bias training interventions have been designed to change this maladaptive information processing mechanisms by training individuals to make more benign interpretations of ambiguous stimuli or situations. However, this type of intervention is generally perceived as repetitive, tedious and boring. People are requested to complete multiple training sessions, whereby they are asked to evaluate and respond to several ambiguous scenarios presented in a reaction time task on the computer. Due to the inherent repetitiveness and boredom of the task, training compliance is not so consistent.


The small problem was developed as a gamification to the interpretative bias training by adopting the element of narration as the main mechanism. In this game, the fragmented texts in the original training are transformed into an engaging and connected story through a narrative framework. As users navigate through the story, they are also encouraged to better interpret the various ambiguous situations.