The Perception of Video Game Experience and Its Effects on STEM Tasks and Tests

By Stephen Rice, William Graves, Melissa Stauble and Rian Mehta.

Published by Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: May 19, 2015 $US5.00

Over the past 30 years, there has been considerable interest in the effect of video games on their users, ranging from cognitive benefits to social deficits. However there is little research on the general public’s perceptions, positive or negative, on video game players. The purpose of the current study is to determine if providing information that a person plays video games will influence the participant’s beliefs regarding performance on a variety of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) tasks and tests. Participants were asked to rate in an online survey to what degree they agreed with 16 questions (8 pro-video game experience and 8 anti-video game experience) regarding performance on STEM tests and tasks. Participants were also asked 16 dichotomous questions, where an individual with video game experience was pitted against an individual lacking video game experience on a series of STEM tasks. Paired-samples t-tests revealed significant differences (all p’s < .05) among the 8 pro-video game experience and 8 anti-video game experience questions. For the 16 dichotomous questions, all binomial comparisons were significant (all p’s <.01). These results indicate that video game players are perceived to be superior to non-video game players at STEM tasks and tests. The implications of these findings, how they affect general beliefs on abilities, and the role of the self-fulfilling prophecy in these effects are discussed.

Keywords: Video Games, Pedagogy, Perception

Ubiquitous Learning: An International Journal, Volume 8, Issue 2, June 2015, pp.13-19. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: May 19, 2015 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 394.028KB)).

Dr. Stephen Rice

Associate Professor, Psychology, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA

William Graves

Researcher, PSL, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA

Melissa Stauble

Student, Nursing, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico, USA

Rian Mehta

Graduate Student, College of Aeronautics, Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, Florida, USA