Video Games and Attention

Robert West and Kira Bailey

in The Oxford Handbook of Media Psychology

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780195398809
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 Video Games and Attention

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The widespread consumption of video games has led social commentators and scientists to question the effects of this medium on the human experience. Within the social and cognitive sciences, investigators have devoted considerable energy to characterizing the effects of video game experience on cognitive and social information processing and behavior (Anderson et al., 2010; Green, Li, & Bavelier, 2010). This chapter considers the emerging literature demonstrating a relationship between video game experience and clinical attention deficits, and provides an integrative review of the literature related to the association between video game experience and attention within three domains (visuospatial processing, executive function, and emotion). This literature reveals that video game experience can both enhance and disrupt various aspects of attention related to these aspects of mental life. Building on existing evidence, future research should seek to identify the boundary conditions under which effects of video game experience are observed and determine the effects of this medium on attention in natural settings.

Keywords: attention deficits; emotion; executive function; visuospatial processing

Article.  12458 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology

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