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Play for Performance: Using Computer Word Games to Improve Test-Taking Performance

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3 Author(s)

The prevalence of high-stakes testing has increased substantially over the past decade. These tests, such as the SAT, ACT, GRE, and GMAT strive to measure an individual's cognitive ability. Building off of the "serious gaming" literature, we developed a Web-based computer word game designed to "prime" individuals for high achievement on a cognitive ability test. Priming is the use of stimuli to activate internal representations in an attempt to influence subsequent behavior. Our results show that individuals who were administered cognitive ability tests immediately after playing an achievement-oriented computer game significantly outperformed individuals who played a neutral computer game designed to have no effect. The effect size was moderate (.63) or visible to the naked eye.

Published in:

System Science (HICSS), 2012 45th Hawaii International Conference on

Date of Conference:

4-7 Jan. 2012