Today in Research: Video Games May Actually Help With Creativity

Discovered: a reward for being ethical, a good thing about video gaming, a cautionary tale of scientific fraud, and the way the Vikings navigated through stormy weather.

  • See, research isn't all negative about video games. Usually, when gaming is assessed by researchers, it seems like the best thing that can be said about playing them is that they don't help or hurt you. Today, there's a semi-counterintuitive finding: playing games tend to help with kids creative -- and even writing -- skills: "A study of nearly 500 12-year-olds found that the more kids played video games, the more creative they were in tasks such as drawing pictures and writing stories." The Michigan State researchers behind the study noted that the finding was particular to gaming: "use of cell phones, the Internet, and computers (other than for video games) was unrelated to creativity." [Michigan State University]
  • A cautionary tale about not believing everything research tells you. Dutch psychologist Diederik Stapel was suspended from his position at Tilburg University in September for fabricating his research findings. However, as New Scientist relays, "the problems became known only on Monday, when the university released an interim report concluding that dozens of papers, as well as 14 out of the 21 Ph.D. theses Stapel had supervised, contain fabricated data." What sort of studies was Stapel faking? Here's one example, which the Los Angeles Times reported on in April before the allegations surfaced, which looks convoluted even on first glance: "People in messy environments tend to compensate by categorizing people in their minds according to well-known stereotypes." [New Scientist, The Washington Post]

Read the full story at The Atlantic Wire.

Presented by

The Atlantic Wire is your authoritative guide to the news and ideas that matter most right now.

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well. Bestselling author Mark Bittman teaches James Hamblin the recipe that everyone is Googling.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash (and Why)

Cooking for yourself is one of the surest ways to eat well.

Video

Before Tinder, a Tree

Looking for your soulmate? Write a letter to the "Bridegroom's Oak" in Germany.

Video

The Health Benefits of Going Outside

People spend too much time indoors. One solution: ecotherapy.

Video

Where High Tech Meets the 1950s

Why did Green Bank, West Virginia, ban wireless signals? For science.

Video

Yes, Quidditch Is Real

How J.K. Rowling's magical sport spread from Hogwarts to college campuses

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

More in Health

Just In