Scientists Find Action Games Augment Decision Making

Scientists Find Action Games Augment Decision Making

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A study has found that fast thinking is a little easier if you've got a few rounds of Halo or Call of Duty under your belt.

A study performed by cognitive scientists at the University of Rochester suggests that playing action games can improve the speed at which you make decisions, without negatively impacting the accuracy.

The researchers tested groups of 18-25 year-olds who did not normally play videogames, who either played Call of Duty 2 and Unreal Tournament, or The Sims 2 for 50 hours. After the training period was finished, the subjects were asked to make quick decisions in a series of specially created tasks, like decided whether a cluster of moving dots were mostly moving left or right.

The study found that those who had played the action games were up to 25% quicker at making their decisions than those who had played The Sims 2, with no difference in the number of correct answers. Professor Daphne Bavelier, one of the scientists conducting the research, said that enhanced speed could make all the difference for all kinds of high-pressure situations, from surgery to military command. Bavelier says that the reason action gamers react so much quicker is due to a process called probabilistic inference, where the brain gathers little pieces of information until it has enough to make a decision. People who play action games are more efficient at accumulating this data, which means they can make decisions more quickly.

It seems likely that this boost to decision making wouldn't just apply to first person shooters, but to any game that forced you to react quickly. Even The Sims, if played in the right way, can be pretty intense. It's also always good news when games are discovered to have a positive effect on the brain, rather than being accused of turning people into killers.

Source: Physorg via 1up

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So people playeing murder simulators make for good surgeons. Eat that Jack!

So people who play games make snap judgements? I'll be more interested when I see how many made the right decision.

They NEEDED to do a STUDY on THAT?

I mean, just watch any Korean Starcraft player...

I wonder if they had a control that didn't play anything at all. Maybe it's possible that Sims just slows your brain down before making you completely brain dead? Lol.

Generic Gamer:
So people who play games make snap judgements? I'll be more interested when I see how many made the right decision.

I know they didn't give the specific data, but they said in the first paragraph that speed improved "without negatively impacting the accuracy." A little elaboration would be welcome on their part, however.

Another victory for video gaming is what i call it!

somelameshite:
They NEEDED to do a STUDY on THAT?

I mean, just watch any Korean Starcraft player...

Damn you, you ninja'd my comment! I mean, really! Have any of these people seen a Korean play StarCraft(2 or otherwise) in the flesh? I have, and it's a little scary.

More on topic, this doesn't surprise me in the slightest. In most action oriented games, from RTS to FPS, you're being forced to make tons of on-the-fly decisions - Should I take cover? If so, where? Should I push forward? Fall back and lick my wounds? Call out for help?

After a while, such situational thinking becomes second nature.

summerof2010:

I know they didn't give the specific data, but they said in the first paragraph that speed improved "without negatively impacting the accuracy." A little elaboration would be welcome on their part, however.

I just find it funny that gamers assume anti-gaming studies are biased and pro-gaming ones are sound for no other reason than it tells them what they want to hear. There's no intrinsic reason one study is more likely to be true than another, you need more detail to know that.

Generic Gamer:

summerof2010:

I know they didn't give the specific data, but they said in the first paragraph that speed improved "without negatively impacting the accuracy." A little elaboration would be welcome on their part, however.

I just find it funny that gamers assume anti-gaming studies are biased and pro-gaming ones are sound for no other reason than it tells them what they want to hear. There's no intrinsic reason one study is more likely to be true than another, you need more detail to know that.

Well, the reason most gamers(myself included) don't trust anti-game studies is because they're usually funded by people with an agenda to push.

This study, on the other hand, was conducted by the University of Rochester. I'll admit that's a bit unorthodox as they're primarily a liberal arts college, but I see no reason to question their credibility.

Of course. One needs to think quickly when you have about six or seven snipers constantly scoping you out like that...

Arcanist:

Well, the reason most gamers(myself included) don't trust anti-game studies is because they're usually funded by people with an agenda to push.

This study, on the other hand, was conducted by the University of Rochester. I'll admit that's a bit unorthodox as they're primarily a liberal arts college, but I see no reason to question their credibility.

Actually a lot of these studies are performed by universities, full credit for checking your sources though. A lot of gamers wheel out the "Brian Griffin's Republican" stereotype and point to that as the source of all anti-gaming studies, forgetting that we are fundamentally a pressure group who wants our viewpoint to be right.

My main complaint is that they don't know if FPS games raise reflexes and decision making or whether people with slow cognitive process choose not to play FPS because they're not very good at them. I.E. how do we know that this trend isn't a one off? Also how do we know that there was a connection between playing and fast thinking? Did the people who did best in game also do best on this study? Did a warm-up period simply prime them for making fast decisions and could any activity involving fast thought do the same?

I'd also view an arts university trying to promote a new emerging medium as having a bias.

As an aside, notice no one is telling these guys to "go cure cancer"? Turns out we like science when it tells us we're right.

Kris015:
Another victory for video gaming is what i call it!

Until Jack comes out to twist it into saying that fps gamers are more likely to spontaneously decide to kill someone than your garden variety maniac.

Generic Gamer:
I just find it funny that gamers assume anti-gaming studies are biased and pro-gaming ones are sound for no other reason than it tells them what they want to hear. There's no intrinsic reason one study is more likely to be true than another, you need more detail to know that.

That may be because few researchers are intrested in promoting games - so they're either against us or unbiased. Not a perfect logic, but pretty accurate in the current situation.

As an aside, notice no one is telling these guys to "go cure cancer"? Turns out we like science when it tells us we're right.

Well, that complaint is justified. But we all know that gamers are a hypocritical bunch.

Anyway, it's not a huge surprise. If games do give us something besides entertainment, it's improved reflexes.

I can see the idea behind it - but wouldnt it work with just about any game, where decisions had to be made? like RTS too?

Logan Westbrook:
Scientists Find Action Games Augment Decision Making

image

A study has found that fast thinking is a little easier if you've got a few rounds of Halo or Call of Duty under your belt.

A study performed by cognitive scientists at the University of Rochester suggests that playing action games can improve the speed at which you make decisions, without negatively impacting the accuracy.

The researchers tested groups of 18-25 year-olds who did not normally played videogames, who either played Call of Duty 2 and Unreal Tournament, or The Sims 2 for 50 hours. After the training period was finished, the subjects were asked to make quick decisions in a series of specially created tasks, like decided whether a cluster of moving dots were mostly moving left or right.

The study found that those who had played the action games were up to 25% quicker at making their decisions than those who had played The Sims 2, with no difference in the number of correct answers. Professor Daphne Bavelier, one of the scientists conducting the research, said that enhanced speed could make all the difference for all kinds of high-pressure situations, from surgery to military command. Bavelier says that the reason action gamers react so much quicker is due to a process called probabilistic inference, where the brain gathers little pieces of information until it has enough to make a decision. People who play action games are more efficient at accumulating this data, which means they can make decisions more quickly.

It seems likely that this boost to decision making wouldn't just apply to first person shooters, but to any game that forced you to react quickly. Even The Sims, if played in the right way, can be pretty intense. It's also always good news when games are discovered to have a positive effect on the brain, rather than being accused of turning people into killers.

Source: Physorg via 1up

Permalink

The researchers tested groups of 18-25 year-olds who did not normally played videogames, who either played Call of Duty 2 and Unreal Tournament, or The Sims 2 for 50 hours. After the training period was finished, the subjects were asked to make quick decisions in a series of specially created tasks, like decided whether a cluster of moving dots were mostly moving left or right.

This should be either: "The researchers tested groups of 18-25 year olds who did not normally play videogames..." or "The researchers tested groups of 18-25 year olds who do not normally play videogames..."

Interesting article. Makes sense that tasks that require quick decision making will improve the ability to make decisions quickly.

Wow. Wasn't this already proven? Action-packed games improve the reflex/decision making in real life as well? Ooh well, another recent study, another point for us.

Keep gaming!

shadow skill:

Logan Westbrook:
Scientists Find Action Games Augment Decision Making

image

A study has found that fast thinking is a little easier if you've got a few rounds of Halo or Call of Duty under your belt.

A study performed by cognitive scientists at the University of Rochester suggests that playing action games can improve the speed at which you make decisions, without negatively impacting the accuracy.

The researchers tested groups of 18-25 year-olds who did not normally played videogames, who either played Call of Duty 2 and Unreal Tournament, or The Sims 2 for 50 hours. After the training period was finished, the subjects were asked to make quick decisions in a series of specially created tasks, like decided whether a cluster of moving dots were mostly moving left or right.

The study found that those who had played the action games were up to 25% quicker at making their decisions than those who had played The Sims 2, with no difference in the number of correct answers. Professor Daphne Bavelier, one of the scientists conducting the research, said that enhanced speed could make all the difference for all kinds of high-pressure situations, from surgery to military command. Bavelier says that the reason action gamers react so much quicker is due to a process called probabilistic inference, where the brain gathers little pieces of information until it has enough to make a decision. People who play action games are more efficient at accumulating this data, which means they can make decisions more quickly.

It seems likely that this boost to decision making wouldn't just apply to first person shooters, but to any game that forced you to react quickly. Even The Sims, if played in the right way, can be pretty intense. It's also always good news when games are discovered to have a positive effect on the brain, rather than being accused of turning people into killers.

Source: Physorg via 1up

Permalink

The researchers tested groups of 18-25 year-olds who did not normally played videogames, who either played Call of Duty 2 and Unreal Tournament, or The Sims 2 for 50 hours. After the training period was finished, the subjects were asked to make quick decisions in a series of specially created tasks, like decided whether a cluster of moving dots were mostly moving left or right.

This should be either: "The researchers tested groups of 18-25 year olds who did not normally play videogames..." or "The researchers tested groups of 18-25 year olds who do not normally play videogames..."

Interesting article. Makes sense that tasks that require quick decision making will improve the ability to make decisions quickly.

What about the other typo?

Generic Gamer:

summerof2010:

I know they didn't give the specific data, but they said in the first paragraph that speed improved "without negatively impacting the accuracy." A little elaboration would be welcome on their part, however.

I just find it funny that gamers assume anti-gaming studies are biased and pro-gaming ones are sound for no other reason than it tells them what they want to hear. There's no intrinsic reason one study is more likely to be true than another, you need more detail to know that.

You make an extremely valid point. Right now, though, I'm trying to wrap my head around the California Supreme Court hearing, so I can't really do anything about this. Someone sohuld follow up and attempt to discredit this study (constructively).

If those work, i wonder how smart Quake or Starcraft makes you.
No wonder this generation is smarter (well every generation is a little) with less mental "idle time"

This is pretty much just a "games improve reflexes" study only its decision reflexes so I can't really say I'm surprised. This is the same reason I try to avoid action games when I'm sleepy. My reactions are slowed and I make mistakes. I have to be in the zone before I'll even dare to put Blazblue in my PS3.

"Hey honey, do you want taco bell or burgerk-"

"NOOBTUBES!!" hits deck.

Oh yeah, real helpful desicion making MW2 has given us.

GonzoGamer:

Kris015:
Another victory for video gaming is what i call it!

Until Jack comes out to twist it into saying that fps gamers are more likely to spontaneously decide to kill someone than your garden variety maniac.

Let's hope that doesn't happen... Who's Jack?

Kris015:

GonzoGamer:

Kris015:
Another victory for video gaming is what i call it!

Until Jack comes out to twist it into saying that fps gamers are more likely to spontaneously decide to kill someone than your garden variety maniac.

Let's hope that doesn't happen... Who's Jack?

I think his last name is Thompson. He's the ex-lawer dbag who always protests every new gta game by sending his young son out to buy it, proving that kids can get M rated games.

GonzoGamer:

Kris015:

GonzoGamer:

Kris015:
Another victory for video gaming is what i call it!

Until Jack comes out to twist it into saying that fps gamers are more likely to spontaneously decide to kill someone than your garden variety maniac.

Let's hope that doesn't happen... Who's Jack?

I think his last name is Thompson. He's the ex-lawer dbag who always protests every new gta game by sending his young son out to buy it, proving that kids can get M rated games.

Wow, he sounds like a jerk. Has he been successful?

Kris015:

GonzoGamer:

Kris015:

GonzoGamer:

Kris015:
Another victory for video gaming is what i call it!

Until Jack comes out to twist it into saying that fps gamers are more likely to spontaneously decide to kill someone than your garden variety maniac.

Let's hope that doesn't happen... Who's Jack?

I think his last name is Thompson. He's the ex-lawer dbag who always protests every new gta game by sending his young son out to buy it, proving that kids can get M rated games.

Wow, he sounds like a jerk. Has he been successful?

He is a jerk... or some sort of viral marketing tool. Can't be too sure. Either way, he's a dbag.

The only thing he's been successful in is giving games free advertising and getting his license to practice law revoked.

I saw this article in the Telegraph today. Don't judge me, my parents get it, not me.

"...studies show that people who play the video games, such as Doom..."

They clearly have no fucking clue about games.

FightThePower:
I saw this article in the Telegraph today. Don't judge me, my parents get it, not me.

"...studies show that people who play the video games, such as Doom..."

They clearly have no fucking clue about games.

Perhaps that's the newspaper's fault, not the study's. Although the study uses somewhat dated games, CoD 2 and Unreal, that may be due to technical issues.

Anyways, this is... good, especially during times like these. The validity may be slightly questionable, but certainly no more than existing anti-gaming ones.

No doubt in this for me. Although, when I play alot of cod then take a break. Then comeback a month later it takes me a bit to get back in the groove.

Thorvan:

FightThePower:
I saw this article in the Telegraph today. Don't judge me, my parents get it, not me.

"...studies show that people who play the video games, such as Doom..."

They clearly have no fucking clue about games.

Perhaps that's the newspaper's fault, not the study's. Although the study uses somewhat dated games, CoD 2 and Unreal, that may be due to technical issues.

I meant the Telegraph. They're so old hat it's laughable.

Bahahahaha what a load of crap. I'm sure those 13 year olds of MW2 will be a great asset to us all.

 

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