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How Can Playing Action Video Games Train Your Mind to Make the Right Decisions Faster?

Several studies have shown that playing video games on a regular basis may increase gray matter in your brain and boost connectivity since the gray matter is directly associated with muscle control, memories, perception, and even spatial navigation. But did you know, there are newer studies that show playing action video games helps train your mind to make the right decisions faster?

Based on a study conducted by Dr. Irene Scopelliti, playing action video games help players develop a heightened sensitivity to their surroundings which in turn influences them to make the right choices in everyday activities.

Video Games Improving Decision-Making Capabilities

Research conducted showed that video games actually improved people’s general decision-making abilities. The paper on the topic was published in Policy Insights in the Behavioral Brain Sciences. Here the researchers expired different ways to improve traditional methods of training to reduce bias and improve a person’s decision-making ability. 

Dr. Irene Scopelliti from the Cas Business School was part of the research team that developed two interactive computer games to test their theory. Among her other works, Dr. Scopelliti also worked on The Psychology of Bragging on Social Media.

Whereas these methods only affect specific decisions and do not change the decision-makers’ ability to make less biased decisions in other unrelated situations, the interactive games we tested can extend their effects to different contexts because they affect the decision-maker rather than a specific decision. We found that playing the interactive games reduced susceptibility to biases by more than 31% in immediate tests, and that two to three months after participants played the games, the reduction in the incidence of bias was still larger than 23%.

Dr. Irene Scopelliti

(Source: City)

How Was the Study Conducted?

The interactive games used in the study provided the participants with personal feedback about how biased they were during gameplay. This gave them an opportunity to practice their decision-making skills and learn to understand cognitive biases. 

In the study, the research team measured how much each participant committed biases before and after playing the game or watching a video explaining the occurrence of the biases. There were two phases of the experiment. The first demonstrated that playing the game reduced three biases by about 46% immediately and 35% over the long term. The second phase addressed three additional biases; anchoring, projection, and representativeness.  (Source: City)

What Are the Six Well-Known Cognitive Biases?

Based on the research, there are six well-known cognitive biases. These biases are:

Bias Blind Spot

This means seeing oneself as less susceptible to biases compared to other people.

Confirmation Bias

Basically collecting and evaluating evidence in ways that can confirm one’s preconceptions.

Fundamental Attribution Error

When an individual unduly attributes someone’s behavior to their individual traits and personality rather than to situational factors. 


Completely relying on the first piece of information available or acquired when making a decision. 


When the individual assumes that people think or act the same way we do. 


Individuals that rely on some simple yet often misleading rules when estimating the probability of uncertainty. 

(Source: City)

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