Does playing video games, such as tetris, improve memory

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Does playing video games, such as tetris, improve memory

Postby xon2g » Thu Dec 12, 2013 8:14 am

My son is in the fifth grade and has come up with the idea of having participants of different age groups (school age children, middle-age adults, and senior citizens) play Tetris for 10-15 minuter per day 4x per week. Before the participants play tetris they would take a memory test using a tool provided by AARP: http://braingames1.aarp.org/shapes_and_colors.html. He is going to have a control group in which the participants only take the memory test and then the experiemental group. Both groups would take the test at the end of each of the four weeks. His hypothesis is that playing Tetris will increase memory in all participants. He has a couple of questions regarding this plan design:

1.) Does his control group and experimental group have to have the same number of participants? For example, for school age children, if two are in the experimental group, would it be ok if he has only one in the control group?
2.) Does he need to have the same number of participants in each of the different age groups? For example, he may have 2-3 school age children participate and 5-6 senior citizens participate.
3.) Due to the time and number of available participants, being able to reproduce the test will be challenging? Does each participant represent a seperate "test"?
4.) The game through AARP asks participants to identify their age, gender, and level of education. I believe they collect this information to capture demogrpahics for comparision purposes. When one finishes the exam they are able to how they rank against others. I dont believe it changes the actual game itself. If we instruct all participants to use the same data information (set age, school, gender) would that work?

Thanks so much.
xon2g
 
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Occupation: Student- 5th Grade
Project Question: My son is testing whether or not playing Tetris can improve memory in different age groups (chidlren, adults, seniors).
Project Due Date: End of February, 2014
Project Status: I am conducting my research

Re: Does playing video games, such as tetris, improve memory

Postby grai » Fri Dec 13, 2013 6:04 am

Hello,
1) I don't believe it is necessary to have the same number of experimental participants as control participants. The goal is to see if memory has been improved over a certain amount of time playing video games. I think it would be okay.
2) Again, regarding the number of participants, I don't see how a difference of one person in each age group would affect the results of the experiment. I would say it is okay.
3) Regarding the tests, I think there should be different tests based on the age of the participants, but each participant within the same age group doesn't need a different test.
4) Selecting participants from the same demographic background would be eliminate sources of error in the experiment. I say it would be best to select participants within an age group from a similar background. However, if this is not the case, you should record any participants who have different information (such as school, work, etc.). This may not be something that directly affects your data since this is an experiment of memory, not education level. However, noting this in your data will just make the experiment more detailed and complete.

I hope this information has helped. Good luck with your experiment!
grai
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Re: Does playing video games, such as tetris, improve memory

Postby connief » Sat Dec 14, 2013 4:08 pm

Hello there,

Very interesting project idea! Just out of curiosity, how did your 5th grader come up with the hypothesis that tetris may help improve memory? It may help to have a particular reason or justification for making this speculation, especially if he/she has to write up a report about his/her experimental design and results later on!

I agree with grai abaout #1, 2, and 4. For #3, I just wanted to make sure that I understand what you're asking. You said, "Due to the time and number of available participants, being able to reproduce the test will be challenging? Does each participant represent a seperate "test"?". By "test", do you basically mean repeating the same exact experiment but with an entire different group of participants to see if your results are reproducible? I do agree that due to time and the limited number of participants you can find, I would say that you probably don't need to redo your experiment a second time, but it would be helpful to find as many participants as possible. This is because you don't want your results to depend on solely 1 or 2 people--they could very well not be representative of the entire population of their classified group. With more participants, if you do see a trend towards better or similar memory, that would make your results more convincing than if you have, say, 1 or 2 people only.

Let us know if you have anymore questions! Best of luck on your experiments!

Connie
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Re: Does playing video games, such as tetris, improve memory

Postby xon2g » Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:06 am

Thank you for your feedback. My son read a couple of articles discussing other studies that had been conducted on how Tetris improved memory in teenage girls. The studies found the the cebral cortex increased leading to increased congitive skills in memory and other areas. Yes, you understood my question correctly:). Thank you to everyone for the feedback.
xon2g
 
Posts: 2
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:56 pm
Occupation: Student- 5th Grade
Project Question: My son is testing whether or not playing Tetris can improve memory in different age groups (chidlren, adults, seniors).
Project Due Date: End of February, 2014
Project Status: I am conducting my research

Re: Does playing video games, such as tetris, improve memory

Postby connief » Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:40 am

Hello there,

It's quite interesting that they did that study with only teenage girls--did they not have any data on teenage boys as well? It'll be interesting to see how tetris affects the memory of people of different ages (young kids vs. teenagers vs. adults) and sex (girls vs. boys).

Good luck with your son's project! Let us know if you have anymore questions.

Connie
connief
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