2009 volume 38(11) pages 1678 – 1687
doi:10.1068/p6324

Cite as:
Nelson R A, Strachan I, 2009, "Action and puzzle video games prime different speed/accuracy tradeoffs" Perception 38(11) 1678 – 1687

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Action and puzzle video games prime different speed/accuracy tradeoffs

Rolf A Nelson, Ian Strachan

Received 11 November 2008, in revised form 6 February 2009

Abstract. To understand the way in which video-game play affects subsequent perception and cognitive strategy, two experiments were performed in which participants played either a fast-action game or a puzzle-solving game. Before and after video-game play, participants performed a task in which both speed and accuracy were emphasized. In experiment 1 participants engaged in a location task in which they clicked a mouse on the spot where a target had appeared, and in experiment 2 they were asked to judge which of four shapes was most similar to a target shape. In both experiments, participants were much faster but less accurate after playing the action game, while they were slower but more accurate after playing the puzzle game. Results are discussed in terms of a taxonomy of video games by their cognitive and perceptual demands.

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