Strobach, Frensch, and Schubert (2012) presented evidence that action video game experience improves task-switching and reduces dual-task costs. Their design commendably adhered to many of the guidelines proposed by Boot, Blakely and Simons (2011) to overcome common method and interpretation problems in this literature. Adherence to these method guidelines is necessary in order to reduce the influence of demand characteristics, placebo effects, and underreporting that might otherwise produce false positive findings. In their paper, Strobach et al. (2012) appear to have misinterpreted some of these proposed guidelines, meaning that their methods did not eliminate possible sources of demand characteristics and differential placebo effects. At this important, early stage of video game research, reducing the likelihood of false positive findings is essential. In this commentary we clarify our methodological critiques and guidelines, identify ways in which this new study did and did not meet these guidelines, and discuss how these methodological issues should constrain the interpretation of the reported evidence.
- Task switching
- Transfer of training
- Video games
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)