Study: Video games can boost intelligence in children

An international team of scientists led by Bruno Saus, Associate Professor of Behavioral and Movement Sciences at the Free University of Amsterdam, conducted a study on the impact of games on children’s intelligence. In total, more than 5,000 children aged 10 to 12 participated in the survey. The results were presented in Nature and showed that video games have a positive effect on children’s intelligence.

For starters, the researchers looked at how many hours a day children spend on social media, video games, and watching videos and TV. On social networks, the average was 30 minutes, on games – 1 hour, and on watching videos and TV – 2.5 hours.

The researchers also studied the impact of the amount of screen time on the level of intelligence, the ability to learn, think rationally, understand complex ideas and adapt to new situations. This also took into account genetics and the socioeconomic status of the family, but did not take into account, for example, the quality of nutrition, the amount of sleep and mental health.

So it turned out that for children of 10 years old, a large amount of time spent playing video games does not affect intelligence in any way, but the passion for watching videos and TV gives a decrease in the child’s IQ. 

Then a second test was carried out after 2 years, where it turned out that children who spent a lot of time playing video games showed the highest level of intelligence growth, and this is regardless of gender. According to Inc. Russia, the IQ of children who preferred video games increased by 2.5 points compared to the average. The positive impact of video games can be explained by the fact that the child has to make decisions, think ahead and react quickly during the game, and not just statically observe what is happening.

Scientists noted that they did not study how time spent on video games, TV and smartphones affects the child’s physical activity, his sleep and well-being. However, the results of their study confirmed that such activities do not impair the cognitive abilities of children and even contribute to the growth of intelligence. It is also important that only American children took part in the study, and scientists did not distinguish between different types of video games.

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