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Impact Factor:0.917 | Ranking:Psychology 64 out of 76 | Psychology, Experimental 80 out of 85
Source:2016 Release of Journal Citation Reports, Source: 2015 Web of Science Data

Action and Puzzle Video Games Prime Different Speed/Accuracy Tradeoffs

  1. Rolf A Nelson
  2. Ian Strachan
  1. Department of Psychology, Wheaton College, Norton, MA 02766, USA
  1. e-mail: rnelson{at}wheatonma.edu


To understand the way in which video-game play affects subsequent perception and cognitive strategy, two experiments were performed in which participants played either a fast-action game or a puzzle-solving game. Before and after video-game play, participants performed a task in which both speed and accuracy were emphasized. In experiment 1 participants engaged in a location task in which they clicked a mouse on the spot where a target had appeared, and in experiment 2 they were asked to judge which of four shapes was most similar to a target shape. In both experiments, participants were much faster but less accurate after playing the action game, while they were slower but more accurate after playing the puzzle game. Results are discussed in terms of a taxonomy of video games by their cognitive and perceptual demands.

  • Received November 11, 2008.
  • Revision received February 6, 2009.
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