Time spent playing action-oriented video-games has been proposed to improve the functioning of visual attention and perception in a number of areas. These benefits are not always consistently reported, however. It was hypothesized that an improvement to visual Speed of Processing (SOP) in action-oriented Video-Game Players (VGPs) underlies many of the benefits of action video-game play, and furthermore the expression of this improvement was modulated by a Hawthorne effect (individuals behaving differently when they believe they are under observation), resulting in the inconsistent results in the extant literature. This hypothesis was tested in three experiments which measured SOP in VGPs and controls in no feedback, public feedback, and private feedback conditions. Analyses showed that VGPs differed from controls only in the publically observable feedback condition, where VGPs demonstrated a superior SOP to the other two conditions, whereas controls did not differ significantly between experiments.
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Thesis advisor: Spalek, Thomas
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