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Cary Stothart, Walter Boot, Daniel Simons, Angeliki Beyko; Action Video Game Experience Does Not Predict Multiple Object Tracking Performance. Journal of Vision 2014;14(10):353. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/14.10.353.
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Self-reported action video game experience has been linked to better performance on many cognitive tasks, including multiple object tracking. However, the limitations of these studies preclude a reliable measure of the size of the association: (a) most used small samples (often just 10 subjects per group) and (b) many tested participants who knew they were recruited because of their gaming experience, potentially introducing demand characteristics. We explored the link between gaming experience and multiple object tracking in a pre-registered study (http://goo.gl/s6gLX7) with a substantially larger sample. Moreover, we systematically varied the method of recruitment, comparing gamers and non-gamers who were recruited either overtly (ngamers = 75, nnongamers = 84) or covertly (ngamers = 72, nnongamers = 108). Unlike previous studies, we found almost no difference in multiple object tracking accuracy between gamers (overt: 70.70%, SD = 6.30%; covert: 70.40%, SD = 7.00%) and non-gamers (overt: 70.30%, SD = 6.50%; covert: 69.10%, SD = 7.00%), regardless of recruitment method (overt: t(156) = -.427, p = .670, d = .062; covert: t(177) = -1.256, p = .211, d = .186). Not surprisingly, given the lack of a difference between gamers and non-gamers, the method of recruiting had no effect on accuracy (F(1, 334) = .343, p = .558, η2partial = .001). Our results suggest that the link between gaming and multiple object tracking performance is not robust
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2014
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