Video games can make children smarter

Many video games require a lot of gamer brain. A study has now come to the conclusion that the consumption of games even increases IQ.

Consumption of video games can increase measurable intelligence in children. That was the conclusion in the United States completed studywhich analyzed media consumption for 9,000 girls and boys.

At the age of nine or ten, the participating children underwent a series of psychological tests to measure their general cognitive abilities. The children and their parents were also asked how much time the offspring spend on TV and videos, video games and social media.

After two years, 5,000 children received a follow-up examination in which their intelligence was checked again. That way, the researchers could figure out what changes in intelligence were happening depending on media consumption.

Genetic differences that could affect intelligence were also taken into account. The same applies to differences that may be related to the parents’ level of education and income.

An average of 2.5 IQ points

On average, the participating children spent 2.5 hours a day in front of the television, half an hour on social media and an hour playing video games. During the evaluation, differences were found in the development of intelligence depending on the weighting of the activities.

Those who played more games than average were able to increase their intelligence by an average of 2.5 IQ points more than average. At the same time, no significant positive or negative effect was found in TV or social media consumption.

However, the results do not mean that video games or media consumption generally have a positive or non-negative impact on children’s development. Researchers acknowledged that the effects of screen behavior on physical activity, sleep, well-being, or academic achievement were not studied.

“But our results support the claim that screen time generally does not impair children’s cognitive abilities, and that playing video games can even increase intelligence.” This is consistent with several experimental studies of video games, “says Torkel Klingberg, professor of cognitive neuroscience at the Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet.

The study should be viewed with caution, especially with regard to school performance, as intelligence has less of an impact on school success (apart from learning difficulties). Instead, skills such as self-regulation and delayed gratification are required.

Nor were any distinctions made in relation to the different types of video games. So a sophisticated and complicated project in “Minecraft” or a session in “The Witness” will probably have a different effect on intelligence than a round of “Moorhuhn”.

Another limitation is that the study only examined American children, and the result can not be extrapolated to children in other countries, as they may have different consumption and gambling habits. In addition, there is a risk of misreporting, as screen time and habits have been self-assessed by children and their parents.


Other studies:


In the end, the researchers have not yet finished their studies. The goal remains to find out which environmental factors influence a person’s measurable intelligence. “We will now examine the effects of other environmental factors and examine how the cognitive effects are related to the development of the child’s brain,” says Torkel Klingberg.

More news about the survey.

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