Video games may not improve cognitive abilities

29 Apr

A paper in Psychological Science suggests that claims about the cognitive enhancing effects of video games may be the result of methodological problems with the research. Here is the abstract:

“The relations between video-game experience and cognitive abilities were examined in the current study. In two experiments, subjects performed a number of working memory, fluid intelligence, and attention-control measures and filled out a questionnaire about their video-game experience. In Experiment 1, an extreme-groups analysis indicated that experienced video-game players outperformed nonplayers on several cognitive-ability measures. However, in Experiments 1 and 2, when analyses examined the full range of subjects at both the task level and the latent-construct level, nearly all of the relations between video-game experience and cognitive abilities were near zero. These results cast doubt on recent claims that playing video games leads to enhanced cognitive abilities. Statistical and methodological issues with prior studies of video-game experience are discussed along with recommendations for future studies.”

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One Response to “Video games may not improve cognitive abilities”

  1. locksleyu April 29, 2015 at 2:44 pm #

    Although it depends on the game, to be an expert in certain types of games definitely requires certain cognitive skills and memory abilities. I’m not familiar with the “task level or latent-construct level”, but intuitively I would have a hard time believing there is no correlation between certain types of games and increased cognitive abilities.

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