Pay Attention: Researchers Debunk Game Link to Concentration Study

July 9, 2010 -

Remember that study from earlier this week which intimated that playing videogames and watching television were linked with attention problems in children? Texas A&M researcher Christopher J Ferguson and T. Atilla Ceranoglu, from Harvard Medical School, saw the research and responded with a scathing (for research anyway) rebuttal.

Ferguson, who has challenged the work of Iowa State University’s Craig Anderson before, and Ceranoglu, who uses games to assist in psychotherapy treatment, submitted their response—entitled Poor Measurement, Poor Controls and Spurious Results in Swing et al.—to Pediatrics, which also published the original research.

If you couldn’t tell from the title, the authors penned the response in order to “make readers aware of limitations and omissions in the methodology and conclusions of the Swing et al (2010) study of video games and attention.”

Ferguson and Ceranoglu offer four distinct weaknesses in the research in Television and Video Game Exposure and the Development of Attention Problems:

1.  …the literature review overlooks a number of recent studies that contradict their views on the relationship between video games and aggression, as well as studies suggesting that video games are more likely to increase, not decrease, attention and cognition.

2.  …the authors puzzlingly failed to use any of the clinically well-validated measures of attention problems, such as the Child Behavior Checklist and the Conners Rating Scale. It’s also unclear why the authors relied solely on teacher reports, failing to include parent reports that arguably would be based on greater familiarity with the child, and again chose not to employ existing validated measures.

3.  …the authors make no attempt to control for other commonly measured relevant variables that may influence attention such as home environment, school quality, parent education, or poverty, genetic risk, etc. It is quite possible that any effects found are spurious, and would disappear in a better controlled study.

4.  ...all standardized regression coefficients for children in the study are less than .10. This indicates that the overlap in variance between media use and attention is less than 1%. Even taking these findings a face value, these are weak effect sizes without practical significance, effectively no different from zero.

The researchers concluded that the findings in the original study were “unable to support the weight that Swing et al. (2010) attempt to place on them, and give no cause for concern to clinicians, educators or parents.


Comments

Re: Pay Attention: Researchers Debunk Game Link to ...

I thought people with ADD and other disorders actually did fairly well with video games as opposed to movies and TV due to interacting with an ever changing medium that forced them to focus or fail and did it in way that most found enjoyable.

At least, I could have sworn that is what I remember reading/hearing somewhere. I might be totally wrong too.

"

Re: Pay Attention: Researchers Debunk Game Link to ...

Wait, what?

Man, how do these bad studies keep getting funding? In my case I was diagnosed with ADD years before I got into video games. We should be putting research into the underling biomechanical predispo- KITTY! =(^ ^)= Such a pretty cat!

Uh, yeah. Look for the biological predispositions first and then look into exacerbating environmental factors.

On a probably unrelated side-note: changing the channels alot doesn't mean the child has trouble concentrating, it means there is nothing good on TV. ;)

Re: Pay Attention: Researchers Debunk Game Link to ...

Bad studies get more funding because they ensure a "scientific" finding that supports the political agenda of however is paying for it.

Would you buy a candy bar if you were unsure the bar was actually in the wrapper? Likewise, who wants to pay for a study that says "I'm sorry, but your moral conclusions are bat-shit insane"?

Re: Pay Attention: Researchers Debunk Game Link to ...

' changing the channels alot doesn't mean the child has trouble concentrating, it means there is nothing good on TV. ;)'

This.  This, right here.  At least until NCIS is back on.

---

With the first link, the chain is forged.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.

Re: Pay Attention: Researchers Debunk Game Link to ...

 This is why Science is awsome.  You get some jackasses that try and use it to fuel a political agenda, and then real scientists come in and beat the research to all hell.

"Science replaces private prejudice with publicly verifiable evidence." - Dawkins

And then there's this by Neil DeGrasse Tyson: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYPgi1oUqXA

Re: Pay Attention: Researchers Debunk Game Link to ...

I think the fallout from East Anglia would dispute that, but what you post is the goal.

---

With the first link, the chain is forged.

--- With the first link, the chain is forged.
 
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quiknkoldif that makes me petty, then I guess I'm one petty sob10/22/2014 - 8:48am
quiknkoldwell I'm sorry Conster, Having my skull smashed in when I was 14 made me skeptical to apologies when it comes to Bullying regardless of the platform its given. I guess Bullies beat the sympathy out of me.10/22/2014 - 8:47am
ConsterOn an unrelated note, I'm missing a "heck if I know" option on the poll.10/22/2014 - 8:33am
ConsterIf someone offends a bunch of people on twitter, they should apologize on twitter, and not accepting said apology because it's "only" on twitter is petty.10/22/2014 - 8:22am
BillThe first link is 4 days old, I didn't see it until today.10/22/2014 - 8:19am
BillJust posting them for the record since they have become part of the GG narrative.10/22/2014 - 8:17am
Billhttp://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/10/21/Incredibly-GamerGate-is-winning-but-you-won-t-read-that-anywhere-in-the-terrified-liberal-media10/22/2014 - 8:14am
BillOh yeah, http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Hollywood/2014/10/17/Supporting-GamerGate-Does-Not-Make-You-a-Bully10/22/2014 - 8:14am
BillThere are now two pro GG articles on Breitbart today, one by James Fudge's favorite "quotes out of context" writer Milo. Amazingly Milo claims GG is winning.10/22/2014 - 8:13am
quiknkoldhavent seen any apologies from the "Other Side" except from Boogie, and he made a video, and I saw him give his apology and I accepted it.10/22/2014 - 8:03am
Michael ChandraWhich usually is "the guy is an ass and I don't really believe it, but fine, benefit for the doubt THIS time and no second chances."10/22/2014 - 7:58am
Michael ChandraI'll accept his apology for something that, no matter whether a joke or serious is way out of line, just as much as I accept apologies from others.10/22/2014 - 7:57am
Michael ChandraRefusing to accept an apology that is done through the same medium and does not sound horribly half-assed is just plain childish.10/22/2014 - 7:56am
Michael ChandraPeople on 'both' sides of the debate have screwed up and apologized without such acts. Where's your criticism on the other side?10/22/2014 - 7:56am
E. Zachary KnightReason posted the second part of their GamerGate story: http://reason.com/archives/2014/10/22/gamergate-part-2-videogames-meet-feminis/10/22/2014 - 7:51am
quiknkoldagain, I dont accept any apology when I cant see their face when they give it to me. He needs to do a video, or do something positive like charity or whatever.10/22/2014 - 7:15am
Michael ChandraBut that's the case with every apology, isn't it?10/22/2014 - 5:57am
Michael ChandraDon't get me wrong. The guy from Gawker screwed up, and he acknowledged that and apologized. Whether people believe him is a second thing.10/22/2014 - 5:57am
Michael ChandraTranslation: "We screwed up but are denying it by saying we don't support groups that bully despite us doing exactly what such a group wanted us to do."10/22/2014 - 5:51am
InfophileAdobe: "Adobe sent Ars an e-mail that said, "Please read our Twitter response to this matter.""... You do realize Twitter isn't the best platform for an official response, right?10/22/2014 - 4:23am
 

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