Psychology: Discuss Effects of Video Games on Attention

Topics: Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, Attention, Psychology Pages: 4 (1326 words) Published: October 23, 2011
Psychology: Discuss effects of video games on attention
Have you ever spent all night playing the latest version of “Call of Duty” or on “Facebook” thinking that it had only been a few hours? This is due to the fact that your attention has been directed or channelized towards one specific activity. In cognitive psychology, attention is defined as the means by which we actively process a limited amount of information through our senses. Even in a relatively simple video game, a player is taking in an enormous amount of information. This processing can create an emotional connection associated with the playing of the game by stimulating pleasure centers in the brain. Furthermore, people are actively processing a small activity but taking in an enormous amount of information. This in turn persuades them to a specific activity that caused them beneficial actions or harmful actions in the cognitive process. Attention, as a part of the peripheral nervous system, is stimulated while it receives and responds to different receptive information. Video games are one of the most addictive attention focusing activities in our society, thus, they contain both advantages and disadvantages in their affects on our attention.

A recent study (Bavelier and C. Shawn Green 2003) has researched a relationship between expert video game players and non-video game players. It has suggested that video game players have higher performance and attention to improve skills. They recruited eight college students that have not played very little and an equal number of students who are playing action games (e.g. Counter-Strike) over three days a week. The study was based on recalling where the target was on the screen. It was not a simple test where the target is centered on the screen. In this instance, it contains certain tricks that make participants get confused with a bombardment of attention diverting and confusing information for the player. For example, as the target flashes, a...
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