THE EFFECTS OF GAMING ON WORKING MEMORY, INATTENTION, READING AND MATH – A LONGITUDINAL STUDY

University essay from Stockholms universitet/Psykologiska institutionen

Abstract:

Previous research has shown both positive and negative effects of gaming on academic and cognitive performance. The purpose of this study was to assess the effect of gaming on development of working memory (WM), inattention, reading and math ability using a longitudinal design. A randomly chosen sample of 335 (168 girls) 6–25 year olds performed tests of visuo-spatial and verbal WM, reading and math ability twice, with a two year interval. Gaming and inattention were assed with questionnaires. Time spent gaming did not affect development of any of the variables. However, game category did correlate with development of visuo-spatial WM, with action-gamers having a more favourable development. There was, however, no positive interaction with more time spent gaming for action-gamers. These results suggest that gaming should not be regarded as a damaging leisure activity. There could instead be some positive effects of gaming, but future research should try to identify the aspects of gaming contributing to this effect.

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