Research also hasn’t found any measurable benefits from video games that claim to help children’s development – ScienceDaily

Parents: It might be time to rethink the rules of video games for your family.

New research findings challenge concerns parents have been hearing for years that children who spend hour after hour playing video games, or choosing games of certain genres, will show unhealthy results in their cognitive ability.

“Our studies did not show such connections, no matter how long the children played and what types of games they chose,” said Jie Zhang, associate professor of curriculum and teaching methods at the University of Houston College of Education and a member of the research team. . The work was published in Journal of Media Psychology.

In reaching the conclusions, the researchers examined the video game habits of 160 diverse students in urban public schools (70% of low-income households), which represents a lower age group studied in previous research. The participating students reported playing video games an average of 2.5 hours per day, with the heaviest gamers in the group spending up to 4.5 hours each day.

The team looked for associations between students’ video game playing and their performance on a standardized cognitive ability test 7, known as the CogAT, which assesses verbal, quantitative, and nonverbal/spatial skills. CogAT was chosen as the standard measure, in contrast to teacher-reported scores or self-reported learning assessments on which previous research projects relied.

“Overall, neither the duration of playing nor the choice of video game genres were significantly associated with the CogAT measures. This result does not show any direct association between playing video games and cognitive performance, despite assumptions,” said Mai Jadallah, a professor at the school. of teaching and learning at Illinois State University and the principal investigator of the study.

But the study revealed another side to the issue as well. And certain types of games that were described as helping children build healthy cognitive skills also provided no measurable effects, despite the games’ marketing messages.

said Sean Green, a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Does this mean that the world can play? Perhaps, research suggests. But experts also warn that playtime takes the heaviest players away from other, more productive activities—homework, specifically—in a process psychologists call displacement. But even in those cases, differences were slight between these participants and their peers’ CogAT measures of cognitive abilities.

“The results of the study show that parents probably don’t have to worry so much about cognitive relapses among video game-loving kids, up until the fifth grade. Reasonable amounts of video games should be fine, which would be good news for kids. Just keep an eye out for the behavior,” Zhang said. geek.” “When it comes to video games, finding common ground between parents and young children is hard enough. At least now we understand that finding balance in childhood development is key, and we don’t have to worry so much about video games.”

The study was funded by the National Science Foundation.

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