Study Examines the “Displacement Effect” of Videogames

February 23, 2010 -

Researchers from Denison University in Ohio have published results of a study into how time spent playing videogames might dislodge other activities, such as studying, among young boys.

ScienceBlogs.com has a recap of the study, which was conducted on 64 boys between the ages of six and nine years old who did not already possess a videogame console. Researchers Robert Weis and Brittany Cerankosky gave half the group PlayStation 2 systems, while the remaining boys continued through life console-less.

All the boys in the study kept a diary on their daily habits. The group with consoles averaged 40 minutes a day playing games and 18 minutes per day on after-school studying, while the non-gamer group averaged nine minutes a day gaming (on a friend or relative’s game machine) and about 32 minutes a day studying out of school.

Four months into the study researchers found that ”the budding gamers had significantly lower reading and writing scores,” while the non-gamer group improved their reading and writing skills. It was also reported that addition of gaming to their repertoire had no effect on mathematical skills in the group of boys with PS2’s, which the author credits more to a lack of math-based leisure activities for videogames to displace.

The researchers concluded: “Our findings suggest that video-game ownership may impair academic achievement for some boys in a manner that has real-world significance.”

The author of the piece believes that more credence should be lent to the study because it was conducted as a randomized controlled trial (RCT). He writes, “By doing a trial, Weis and Cerankosky have clarified the direction of cause and effect.”


Comments

Re: Study Examines the “Displacement Effect” of ...

Contrary to stupid beliefs, the type of game they were playing is relevant. Also relevant is why the hell they were not studying. Where were the parents? Also relevant is whether these kids were just dumb to begin with.

Too many holes, not enough kids, and this study should also be done with a third group of "athletes" who have no console but play sports. If my experiences are correct, the two "distracted" groups should perform around the same level. Though I'm left wondering why they're performing at that level... I would expect more from a gamer or athlete than I would from a TV-watching couch potato, not less.

Hell, I think we should introduce MORE activities into children's lives, not less. Encourage people to try and do many things. That is how you grow an independant mind, is it not? Don't count on the schools to do it for you, they're too busy enforcing black & white "zero tolerance" policies while wearing smug grins and teaching students how to work, not how to learn.

Re: Study Examines the “Displacement Effect” of ...

Giving someone something they normally wouldn't have at their income makes them lazy? Stop the presses!

Re: Study Examines the “Displacement Effect” of ...

These studies REALLY need to start picking out some worthwhile games instead of whatever trash is sitting at the bottom of the bargain bin. As a child my time on video games actually IMPROVED my reading skills because I would want to understand the text in the games, the manuals, and the magazines/printed material covering games.

How many 5-year olds can tell you what a "labyrinth" is and spell it correctly?

Of course, this is before all the voices were added and kids don't have to read half the material anymore.

Re: Study Examines the “Displacement Effect” of ...

1. Kids who don't own a games console are given one and encouraged to use it regularly. Then their grades drop because they're spending less time studying? Durrr.... All this study proves is that kids who do things instead of studying after school don't study as well as those who do. I wish I could pocket the money pissed away on these "studies" into the blindingly obvious!

Hey how about we team up and conduct a study into why people conduct studies into the blindingly obvious? Now THAT question needs examining!

 

 

Re: Study Examines the “Displacement Effect” of ...

Yeah, dumb study with silly conclusions. What's the betting it'll be lauded by all the usual tabloids and scaremongers?

1. Kids who don't own a games console are given one and encouraged to use it regularly. Then their grades drop because they're spending less time studying? Durrr.... All this study proves is that kids who do things instead of studying after school don't study as well as those who do. I wish I could pocket the money pissed away on these "studies" into the blindingly obvious!

2. According to the article's links, the 3 games involved were: Nicktoons: Battle For Volcano Island, Sonic Riders and Shrek Smash 'n Crash Racing. Notice the correlation there? All three were action games aimed squarely at younger children, based on popular cartoon characters, and with little educational content. None of them involve a great deal of reading, nor a massive amount of strategic or lateral thinking. Two of the games are racing games, FFS. Hardly a comprehensive collection to test them on - what, no RPG or adventure game to test them on? I'd be interested to see the results if a kiddie point 'n click adventure or even a Pokemon RPG was used in the tests.

3. I'd also be interested to see such a study that examines different kinds of activity, rather than just "kids who play games" vs. "kids who don't". What about a group encouraged to play board games or read, a group encouraged to play sports and a group encouraged to watch TV vs a group using video game systems? There might be a decent conclusion if, say, the video game kids fared worse than the football kids, at least something more useful than this study.

All that any sane, intelligent person should take out of this study is "make your kids do their homework before they play on their games console". Not original, and applicable to every form of entertainment ever invented. Once again, parents should parent. Games don't change the message that was drilled into us all by decent parents. Just because the wording changed from "finish your homework before you go outside" to "... before you turn on your console", that doesn't change the message that every good parent has been saying for decades.

Re: Study Examines the “Displacement Effect” of ...

“Our findings suggest that video-game ownership may impair academic achievement for some boys in a manner that has real-world significance.” *monocle*

Now any monkey with a degree in a fancy school or a TV show can make a "research" and report "findings" about anything they don´t like.

The first question is what game they gave to the children? The answer "we gave them a PS2, lol" is hardly an answer. This is basically hiding the information to people is reading their "findings". If they were playing a Bratz game for PS2, then I believe them and the kids have actually loose millions of brain cells in the process.

Their conclusion about the "ownership" of games is just ridiculous. They didn´t prove anything of value. If you give a child a new toy, even a plain soccer ball, he obviously will get distracted if the damn parents don´t put him limits. Same with games.

This wasn´t a research, it was "Statement of the Obvious 101".

And don´t forget the researcher (now any dumbass can make an "study") was the one who gave them videogames. That alone doesn´t turn him in an "enabler". A drug dealer.

Under the eyes of Jack Atkinson and Michael Thompson, he could be a child molester. Obviously, this researcher is a sick SOB. He should be thrown on jail for corrupting innocent 9 years old. 

And why he didn´t used another groups. One group could spend time in modelism. Another one on cooking. Another one making clay scultures. Another one doing sports. Why did they just give them videogames?

The easy answer. That´s why.

 

------------------------------------------------------------ My DeviantArt Page (aka DeviantCensorship): http://www.darkknightstrikes.deviantart.com

Re: Study Examines the “Displacement Effect” of ...

"This wasn´t a research, it was 'Statement of the Obvious 101'."

Abridged title for that class: Captain Obvious 101.

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"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar
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"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: Study Examines the “Displacement Effect” of ...

Yet another "Duuuuuuuuuh!" experiment. It shouldnt take a bunch of guys and gals with lab coats and degrees over a long period of time to realize that giving someone something that is destracting, time consuming, and very fun might just impact someones academic achievments, let alone their lives. Anything that is left un-moderated can generate a negative impact on someones life. Moderation is the key to everything, yet they keep doing tests like these and completely overlooking the obvious. Unfortunetly no one seems too keen on testing That hypothisis.

If it takes someone speaking up to point out that which is labled the obvious, is it really obvious?

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The true American is one that does not let themselves become polarized in their party affiliations; they stay around the middle and listen to the word of both.After all the middle is created by two extremes, and we all know that you dont follow a crazy.

Re: Study Examines the “Displacement Effect” of ...

32 min a day studying? That's damn little homework! And for the record, I tested at something like a 9th grade reading level in grade school, with a Nintendo Entertainment System.

I am Error.

Re: Study Examines the “Displacement Effect” of ...

Alright, so if we go back to the 80s, they would say youngster watch too much MTV and it disrupts their studying. You go back to the 60s and 70s and they said TV disrupts young peoples lives and studying and then if you go back to the 50s you have studies blaming Comic Books and some guy shaking his hips disrupting young people from studying….COME ON!

The Human Race is not programmed to sit in one spot or cubical and be content. We are an active people, and a small, small minority want to claim a massive numbers of male humans have ADD or some sort of disorder because rather then sit still and listen and be quiet they rather run around, play or be actively involved in something that interests them? I wouldn’t call that an disorder, I call that Human Nature.

Is this some of our Stimulus money hard at work? So they can again tell us Human’s will act according to their nature and how we should not be surprised males prefer to be active doing something else rather then sitting still?

 You know there was a time Educators could interest the youth and teach them valuable lessons and stimulate the mind but now we just teach to the test and not really teach them or our children anything except what they need to pass the test rather then basic life skills. Difference between schools in prior the 1970s and now is we just teach to the test rather then focus on subjects that might interest young pupils or basic life skills like how to balance a check book or changing a tire or how to make an item?

 

Yet all we know now is how to pass a multiple choice test and how to play a video game system because the researchers and educators out there rather then focusing on the problem (Them) they choose to blame everyone else

Re: Study Examines the “Displacement Effect” of ...

And how many of the kids were stupid to begin with? Oh, right there's no such thing as a stupid child. ;)

Re: Study Examines the “Displacement Effect” of ...

That's simply called natural selection.

Re: Study Examines the “Displacement Effect” of ...

And here all along I thought that the "displacement effect" was when I could not find where I hid my pot.

Yeah agree with the rest of you, this article is a heaping dose of "duuuuuh." I would also point out.... is this displacement effect caused by the games or is it caused by bad parenting by not checking up on if your snowflake has homework that night or not? Hmmmmm. I'm going to stick with bad parenting still.

Re: Study Examines the “Displacement Effect” of ...

I wonder if they would get the same results if they put those kids on sports teams instead of handing them game consoles.

Then again, do I really need to wonder?
---
I'm not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I'm not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don't know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.


---
I'm not under the affluence of incohol as some thinkle peep I am. I'm not half as thunk as you might drink. I fool so feelish I don't know who is me, and the drunker I stand here, the longer I get.

Re: Study Examines the “Displacement Effect” of ...

Create a 4 layered system comprised of students who are otherwise good at study, prior assessment of subjects will be performed to ensure each group has a fair mix of abilities.

The control group gets nothing special.

Test group 1 gets a MODERN console and some good age appropriate games that cover the spectrum of each genre (an FPS may not improve reading but an RPG should).

Test group 2 get games with a distinctly educational objective. Things like the math/brain training DS stuff

Test group 3 gets access to terabyes of hardcore porn

 

The test will provide a final determination of whether games or tits are more of a distraction from education.

Re: Study Examines the “Displacement Effect” of ...

*nods* it would indeed be intersting to see the same study repeated across differnt types of activties, as well as doing a longer version of this study.

Still, I give them points for actually trying to gather read data rather then saying 'of course xyz!'

Re: Study Examines the “Displacement Effect” of ...

Giving how often teachers are instructed to give star players a free ride, no, you don't.

Re: Study Examines the “Displacement Effect” of ...

In fact, that would give credence to the whole "stupid jock" stereotype.

------- Morality has always been in decline. As you get older, you notice it. When you were younger, you enjoyed it.

Re: Study Examines the “Displacement Effect” of ...

What were the games?

Lots of games involve reading.  And the entire rhythm genre is highly mathematical.

Re: Study Examines the “Displacement Effect” of ...

My thoughts exactly.

If they gave them some random FPS or one of the hundred madden games released on PS2 (since I'm asssuming these scientists hit the bargain bins for this study) the beneficial effects are nearly nonexistent, outside of learning the rules of football, for instance.

If they gave these kids some Final fantasy or other long-winded jRPG, they would probably be able to report better reading scores and better comprehension of basic mathematics and quicker mental math skills.

Re: Study Examines the “Displacement Effect” of ...

"[Gamers] averaged... 18 minutes per day on after-school studying, while the non-gamer group averaged... about 32 minutes a day studying out of school."

“Our findings suggest that video-game ownership may impair academic achievement for some boys in a manner that has real-world significance.”

No, it would appear that doing less after-school studying may impair academic achievement.  Dipstick.

 

Andrew Eisen

Re: Study Examines the “Displacement Effect” of ...

WOW, giving boys who DO NOT HAVE A CONSOLE a console will affect how much time they spend doing other things in foreseeable future? I am STUNNED!

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I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

-------------------------------------------------- I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

Re: Study Examines the “Displacement Effect” of ...

Not only that, but spending less time studying will have a negative impact on your learning?  The mind boggles at this truly stunning information!

 
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