Give a young boy a PlayStation and his grades will suffer, according to a new study.
Researchers from Ohio’s Denison University offered 64 boys aged between six and nine a PlayStation II in return for participating in a four month study. The catch was that half the boys received the console up front, while half were forced to wait until the end of the four months.
The result – an immediate drop in the reading and writing test scores for the boys given the consoles up front. Interestingly, the PlayStation seemingly had no effect on the boys’ math and problem solving skills, according to the study to be published in Psychological Science.
The study’s authors – Associate Professor Robert Weis and Brittany Cerankosky – emphasised that “there isn’t necessarily something inherent in video games that negatively affects kids”.
“It’s an activity that detracts from time that could be spent on schoolwork,” Cerankosky said. “The kids in our study could have been reading Stephen Hawking, and we might have found similar results.”