Rolf Nelson, a Wheaton College psychology professor, has just released the results of his study which aimed to shed some light on the impact of playing video games between tasks. The study, which is directed to the speed and accuracy of accomplishing tasks, yielded that those who played an action game managed to finish a task faster but less accurate, while those who played a strategy game got it more accurately, but required more time to do so.
Nelson, who specializes in human visual perception, made use of Unreal Tournament
for the action game, while turned to Portal
for puzzle-solving strategy. Subjects were asked to spend an hour with these games in between two tasks, and the outcome saw their own pros and cons. “If they’re playing an action game and then switch to homework, they may try to blaze through their homework at the cost of making mistakes," Nelson said.
“Results convincingly demonstrate a priming effect for two different types of video games,” Nelson says. “Playing Unreal Tournament, an action video game, resulted in faster reaction times and lower accuracy on a location task, while playing Portal, a puzzle game, resulted in slower reaction times and higher accuracy.”
If you want to get down to the nitty-gritty of the study, you can check its abstract http://www.perceptionweb.com/abstract.cgi?id=p6324