The researcher: The results support that the time spent in front of the screen does not have a negative effect in general
Computer games can make children smarter.
That’s what a new study by researchers at Karolinska Institutet shows.
It has long been debated how much time children use in front of screens, does it affect health and does it have a positive or negative impact on cognitive ability?
Now, researchers at Karolinska Institutet and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam have conducted a study showing that computer games can contribute to increasing children’s intelligence. The study was published in the journal Scientific Reports.
KI wrote in a press release that 9,000 children in the United States were included in the study. When the children were between the ages of nine to ten, they had to undergo psychological tests that gave a measure of their cognitive ability, that is, intelligence. In addition, the children and their parents had to answer questions about how much time the children spent watching TV, video, computer games, and social media.
Two years later, researchers followed 5,000 children who repeated the tests.
“Can contribute to an increase in intelligence”
On average, children spend 2.5 hours a day watching TV, half an hour on social media, and one hour playing computer games. The results showed that children who played computer games more than the average increased their intelligence more than the average. But the researchers saw neither a negative nor a positive effect of watching television or social media.
We have not investigated the effects of screen habits on physical activity, sleep, well-being or school performance, and therefore we cannot say anything about them. But the results provide support that screen time in general has no negative effect on children’s cognitive ability, and that computer games on the contrary can contribute to increased intelligence. This is in line with many experimental studies of computer games, says Torkel Klingberg, professor of cognitive neuroscience at Karolinska Institutet, in the press release.
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