Action Gaming Helps With Quick Decision Making

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An article in the September 14, 2010 issue of Current Biology (Volume 20, Issue 17) demonstrates that players of action-oriented video games are better able to make snap decisions than those who do not. In an article entitled "Improved Probabilistic Inference as a General Learning Mechanism with Action Video Games", researchers at the University of Rochester showed that "action video game experience does indeed improve probabilistic inference."
The sample size of the study was small, comparing around a dozen people who had been playing action-oriented games for a year to a similar number who had not been playing videogames. Gamers responded substantially faster in both auditory and visual tasks that required participants to rapidly assimilate information and make decisions (probabilistic inference).


Not only were action gamers able to better make quick and accurate decisions than the non-gamers, but the heightened probabilistic inference skills were specific to action gamers. After taking two groups and assigning them to play either action or life-simulation games, both groups improved at playing their games, but only those playing action games improved their ability to rapidly assimilate information and make quick decisions.

While the study needs to be extended to a mucher larger sample group, the results do suggest that any action game can have some positive benefits when it comes to tasks that require rapid assessment and decision making, such as driving or military training.

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This page contains a single entry by Editor published on September 13, 2010 10:34 PM.

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