A new study has found that playing video games can improve children's intelligence by 2.5 IQ points. In today's world, video games will only become more and more popular. By 2020, more than 200million Americans play video games in the United States alone. This means that about 65 percent of American adults play video games.
Since the 1970s, electronic games have triggered a debate. The concern raised by parents and child advocates is that violent video games will affect young players to commit violence in real life. However, video games are also considered to be good for both body and mind. Action video game players' hand eye coordination and visual motor ability are higher than those who do not play games. According to a recent study, playing video games may even improve your intelligence.
Researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden examined the relationship between children's screen habits and how their cognitive abilities grew over time. They found that teenagers who spent more time playing video games than the average increased their IQ above the average, but watching TV or social media had no effect. The results have been published in the journal scientific report.
In this study, researchers from Karolinska college and Vrije University in Amsterdam investigated the relationship between screen use and intelligence.
The study included more than 9000 boys and girls from the United States. These children took a series of psychological tests at the age of nine or ten to assess their general cognitive ability (Intelligence). Children and their parents were also asked how much time they spent watching TV and movies, playing video games, and using social media. Two years later, the researchers followed more than 5000 children and they were asked to repeat the psychological tests. This enables researchers to study the differences in children's performance in different test sessions, and to control individual differences in the first test. They also controlled for genetic differences that might affect intelligence and differences that might be related to parents' educational background and income.
On average, children spend 2.5 hours a day watching TV, half an hour on social media, and one hour playing video games. The results showed that those who played more games than the average improved their intelligence by about 2.5 IQ points between the two measurements. No significant effects, positive or negative, of watching TV or social media were observed. The results of this study support the claim that screen time generally does not damage children's cognitive ability, and playing video games can actually help improve intelligence. This is consistent with several experimental studies on playing video games.