A new study revealed that children who spent time playing games more than average improved their cognitive abilities, while watching TV and spending time on social networks had almost no effect on kids' inteliigence.
Clio's Cosmic Quest
Researchers from Karolinska University have studied how screen habits affected the cognitive abilities of children and found out that children who spent time playing video games increased their intelligence more than the average while watching TV and spending time on social networks had no significant effect on the kids.
More than 9,000 US boys and girls aged 9-10 took part in the study. First, the children underwent a series of psychological tests to determine their general cognitive abilities. Besides, the children and the parents were asked how much time the kids spent on TV, games, and social networks.
After two years of research, just over 5,000 of them were followed up. The kids were asked to repeat psychological tests to estimate how individual results had changed over time. The researchers also controlled for both genetic differences that might affect the children's intelligence as well as differences that may be related to parents' backgrounds including their education and income.
According to a survey, on average, the children spent 2.5 hours a day watching TV, half an hour a day they were engaged in social media, and spent one hour a day playing video games.
The results of the research showed that those who played video games more than average increased their intelligence by 2.5 IQ points more than the average compared to the initial measurement. Meanwhile, social media and TV had neither positive nor negative effects on kids.
The results are also in line with similar studies confirming that screen time doesn't generally affect cognitive abilities. However, those researches have several flaws. Firstly, only children from the United States have been studied so far. In addition, the studies did not distinguish between different types of video games. Besides, the time kids spent playing video games was estimated by the children and parents themselves, so the risk of error is very high.
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