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Features of mental activity of students: eSport players

  • South University (Institute of Management, Business and Law)


The study of the peculiarities of thinking of young people professionally engaged in computer gaming activity is a new and little-studied topic in cognitive psychology. The article presents the results of empirical research of peculiarities of thinking of students-e-sport players and students engaged in computer gaming activities or amateur players. The sample consisted of students-eSports players and students who are not engaged in eSports aged 17 to 20 years. Such techniques were applied: «Intelligence structure test» by Amthauer, R. (IST), «Test of critical thinking» by Starkey, L., the technique «Thinking style» by Belousova, A. K., «Brief indicative test (BIT)» by Бузин, В.Н., Вандерлик, Э.Ф. The article presents data proving the fact that students who spend more than four hours a day playing computer games have a relatively lower level of logical and critical thinking than students who do not play computer games. The results demonstrate statistical connections between the indicators of gaming activity and the peculiarities of thinking. The factors influencing the low level of formation of logical and critical thinking among students-eSports players are discussed.
Pishchik, V. I., Molokhina G. A., Petrenko E. A., & Milova Yu.V. (2019). Features of mental activity of stu-
dents – esport players, International Journal of Cognitive Research in Science, Engineering and Education
(IJCRSEE), 7(2), 67-76
The problem of studying the impact of
the computer environment, in particular the
game virtual reality on the socio-psychological
characteristics of the person is increasingly of
interest among psychologists. The relevance
of psychological studies of the impact of gam-
ing computer activities on the functioning of
cognitive processes of a human, his thinking,
is due to the need to develop educational pro-
grams that promote the development of mental
activity of boys and girls involved in eSports.
Computer games are one of the main ways to
spend leisure time among young people, and
systematic gaming activities in the network
has an ambiguous eect on the development
of mental processes.
The Russian Federation included eS-
ports in the ocial register of sports in 2016,
this discipline is qualitatively new and has no
analogues in the historically established list
of sports, and therefore there is the relevance
of its research. ESports is a game competition
using computer technology, in this type of ac-
tivity, the computer simulates a virtual space
within which participants compete. An attrac-
tive feature of eSports is its democracy in rela-
tion to the physical capabilities of the compet-
itors. The attractiveness of computer games is
due to a number of factors: the plot, emotional
atmosphere, graphic aesthetics, «swinging» or
the ability to acquire new skills, the achievabil-
ity of the goal, obtaining intellectual pleasure,
Dr. Vlada Igorevna Pishchik, Department of educational psychology and organizational psychology, Faculty of
psychology, pedagogy and defectology of Don State Technical University, Rostov-on-Don, Russian Federation
Dr. Galina Anatolyevna Molokhina, free researcher, Rostov-on-Don, Russian Federation
Dr. Elena Anatolyevna Petrenko, Department of Psychology and Personnel Management, Southern University
(IMBL), Rostov-on-Don, Russian Federation
Dr. Yuliya Vladimirovna Milova, Solomensky district in Kiev center of social services for families, children and
youth. A leading psychologist, Kiev, Ukraine
Corresponding Author
Dr. Vlada Igorevna Pishchik, Don State Technical
University (DSTU), Russian Federation
is work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attri-
bution - NonCommercial - NoDerivs 4.0. e article is
published with Open Access at
Original Research
Received: May, 18.2019.
Revised: June, 26.2019.
Accepted: July, 03.2019.
logical thinking,
critical thinking,
thinking styles,
youthful age,
e study of the peculiarities of thinking of young people professionally
engaged in computer gaming activity is a new and little-studied topic in
cognitive psychology. e article presents the results of empirical research
of peculiarities of thinking of students-e-sport players and students engaged
in computer gaming activities or amateur players. e sample consisted of
students-eSports players and students who are not engaged in eSports aged
17 to 20 years. Such techniques were applied: «Intelligence structure test» by
Amthauer, R. (IST), «Test of critical thinking» by Starkey, L., the technique
«inking style» by Belousova, A. K., «Brief indicative test (BIT)» by Busin,
V.N., Vanderlik, E.F. e article presents data proving the fact that students
who spend more than four hours a day playing computer games have a
relatively lower level of logical and critical thinking than students who do
not play computer games. e results demonstrate statistical connections
between the indicators of gaming activity and the peculiarities of thinking.
e factors inuencing the low level of formation of logical and critical
thinking among students-eSports players are discussed.
© 2019 IJCRSEE. All rights reserved.
Pishchik, V. I., Molokhina G. A., Petrenko E. A., & Milova Yu.V. (2019). Features of mental activity of stu-
dents – esport players, International Journal of Cognitive Research in Science, Engineering and Education
(IJCRSEE), 7(2), 67-76
etc. (Boyle, E., Connolly, T. M. and Hainey
T., 2011; Makalatiya, A. G. and Matveeva, L.
V., 2017). Today, the authors (Avetistova, A.
A., 2005; Granic, I., Lobel, A. and Engels, R.
C. M. E., 2014; Sherry, J. L., 2004) introduce
one more factor that may well form the attrac-
tiveness of online gaming. It is experienced,
implemented «ow experience». It is associat-
ed with the phenomenon of the experience of
immersion in games (Jennett, C., et all., 2008).
The immersion involves complete disconnec-
tion from reality, the loss of time frames. The
immersion is greatly inuenced by the game’s
graphic design elements (Roohi, S. and Forou-
zandeh, A., 2019).
Interactivity of a computer network
game allows to involve real players in virtual
joint activity, making them active subjects in-
uencing events in the game and with absolute
freedom of expression (Burlakov, I. V., 2000).
The computer game is a formative activity in
which «there is an embedding of the received
virtual game experience in real structures of
the personality, and the result of such embed-
ding is dicult to predict» (Polutina, N. S.,
2010, p. 94).
In accordance with the assertion, derived
by Orekhov, S. I., the mechanism of formation
of virtual reality is divided into two stages:
position and representativeness (Orekhov, S.
I., 2002). Position helps players navigate in
virtual reality: the playing individual has an
idea of how he can interact with the objects
of the game. Representativeness is that a com-
puter game reects a certain pattern of actions.
There is a large number of game genres: from
the shooter to simulator of God. All of them
is a representation of certain laws and ideas
from the real world. Positional-representative
mechanism in advance gives us an idea of
what the characters look like, what the playing
eld looks like, what the rules are. However,
in addition to the position and representative-
ness the game also includes the area of fantasy
– not in the human head, but between a man
and a computer. Therefore, it would be wrong
to talk about the aircraft simulator or chess on
the computer screen as a computer game in
the true sense of the word (Vishnevskij, A. V.,
2014). In the research of psychologists who
study the impact of computer games on the
development of the cognitive sphere in ado-
lescence, both positive and negative results
of such inuence are presented. Some works
indicate that the computer players characteris-
tically developed logical thinking, emotional
stability, rationality, foresight, ability to make
dicult decisions and successfully collaborate
with others (Fomicheva, YU. V., SHmelev, A.
G. and Burmistrov, I. V., 1991; Sylvén, L. R.
and Sundqvist, P., 2012). In other works, on
the contrary, the negative consequences of the
transformation of the interests and motiva-
tional sphere of players, the ability to estab-
lish social contacts and cognitive abilities, the
increase in aggressiveness and anxiety level,
as well as the formation of gaming computer
addiction are stated (Anderson, C. A., et all.
2010; Ivanov, M. S. 2004, Sobkin, V. S. and
Evstigneeva, YU. M., 2001; Shapkin, A. S.,
E-Sports players, of course, have certain
psychological characteristics, which makes
them a potential object of research within the
framework of psychology. ESports is most
popular among young people, so the authors
consider that it is most appropriate to conduct
research based on a sample of students. There
are few works in the literature on cognitive
styles specics of the players (Bogacheva, N.
V., 2014; Vojskunskij, A. E., 2010), especially
professional eSports players. In this regard, it
is of particular interest to study their logical,
intuitive, style characteristics of mental pro-
cesses. We assume that eSports players dier
in their styles of thinking from the amateur
The objects of the study were students
aged between 17 and 20 years, engaged in eS-
ports (hereinafter referred to as eSports play-
ers) and amateur players, not engaged in eS-
ports. The total sample was 70 people of both
sexes, girls make up 30% of the total sample.
30 students are engaged in eSports and 40 stu-
dents are not engaged. ESports players have
been members of computer multiplayer team
game genre of multiplayer online battle arena
developed by Valve Corporation for 3 years
and more.
We were interested in the type of eS-
ports and its specics in our work with eSports
players. The main game is a computer mul-
tiplayer team game Dota 2, which is a battle
on the map of a special kind, which involves
two teams, each team is a group of ve play-
ers who control the virtual space heroes with
certain sets of abilities, the purpose of the he-
roes is to destroy the enemy and save their
own base. The success of the battle depends
on the consistency of the participants on the
battleeld in the virtual space. This game is
an eSports discipline. Tournaments are held in
Pishchik, V. I., Molokhina G. A., Petrenko E. A., & Milova Yu.V. (2019). Features of mental activity of stu-
dents – esport players, International Journal of Cognitive Research in Science, Engineering and Education
(IJCRSEE), 7(2), 67-76
dierent countries of the world since 2015, the
prize fund is estimated in millions of dollars.
The main research methods were: ob-
servation, interview, psychological diagnos-
tics. The methodical tools were psychodiag-
nistic techniques: «Intelligence structure test»
by Amthauer, R. (IST) (subtest 2 «Excluding
the word», subtest 3 «Analogies», subtest
4 «Generalization», subtest 6 «Arithmetic
tasks»); «Test of critical thinking» by Starkey,
L. (2004), the technique «Thinking style» by
Belousova, A. K. and Pishchik, V. I. (2015),
«Brief indicative test (BIT)» by Bendyukov
M. A. and Solomin I. L. (2006).
Such methods of mathematical and
statistical analysis as descriptive statistics,
Mann-Whitney U-criterion to identify the sig-
nicance of dierences, Spearman correlation
analysis to dene the closeness of the relation-
ship features were used.
The results are presented in tables and
gures. The results of the diagnostics of logi-
cal thinking of students by the method of
Amthauer, R. IST are summarized in table 1
and are clearly shown in gure 1.
Table 1. Results of diagnostics of the
level of development of logical thinking of
eSports students and students who are not en-
gaged in eSports
To assess the logical thinking of stu-
dents such subtests were used: the second sub-
test – the development of intuitive conceptual
thinking, the third subtest – conceptual logi-
cal thinking, the fourth subtest – conceptual
categorization and the sixth subtest – abstract
thinking. The diagnostic results showed that
the level of development of logical thinking of
students actively playing computer games is
relatively lower than of the students who are
not engaged in eSports, and the worst situa-
tion is with conceptual categorization. Then
we analyzed the results.
Figure 1. Results of diagnostics of the
level of development of logical thinking of eS-
ports students and non-eSports students
The tasks of the second subtest are
aimed at assessing the development of con-
ceptual thinking operations based on intuitive
analysis. These operations characterize the
ability to see, highlight the main, signicant
thing in the descriptive, unstructured material,
to understand the inner meaning of statements,
messages, to separate the essential, constant
properties, characteristics of objects and phe-
nomena from the «external», secondary ones.
The presence of conceptual intuitive thinking is
necessary to use scientic, theoretical knowl-
edge in real life. This intelligent operation is
based on intuitive analysis. Mental activity is
when a person gradually «cleans» information
from all secondary, supercial, superuous,
cuts o, discards all unnecessary and leaves
only its essence. Usually a person is not aware
of the principle on the basis of which he acts
when «cleans» information, makes a decision
or makes a conclusion. He just feels, knows
that it’s important, that’s right, and basically
he does not make mistakes. The results of our
study suggest that students-eSports players are
characterized by a lower level of development
of operations of intuitive conceptual thinking.
Tasks of the third subtest measure the
development of operations of conceptual
logical thinking. They characterize the abil-
ity to identify objective laws, the relationship
between the phenomena of the world, allow
to see the internal logic in the sequence of
events, changes, isolate algorithms of activ-
ity. Through these operations the ability to
understand the logic of evidence, the mean-
ing of formulas, rules, their scope; generalize
and partially transform their own knowledge
and experience, transfer them, use in other,
similar life or educational situations; «throw»
logical bridges with a lack of information or
knowledge gaps are formed, as a result the
Pishchik, V. I., Molokhina G. A., Petrenko E. A., & Milova Yu.V. (2019). Features of mental activity of stu-
dents – esport players, International Journal of Cognitive Research in Science, Engineering and Education
(IJCRSEE), 7(2), 67-76
possibility of understanding the general mean-
ing of the message retain. Conceptual logi-
cal thinking characterizes the general ability
to learn, can compensate for the shortcom-
ings of any intellectual operations, provide
an understanding of any tasks, problems and
scientic constructions through reasoning. It
is fully conscious, has an operational revers-
ibility. It is used to search for cause-and-eect
relationships, highlight the logical sequence
in the presentation of information, evidence
and justication of intuitive guesses, logical
verication of conclusions, linking scientic
constructions. Low rates of conceptual logi-
cal thinking of eSports players indicate that
gaming activity forms a dierent direction of
thinking of students.
The tasks of the fourth subtest reveal the
development of the operation of conceptual
categorization. These operations characterize
the ability of forming concepts, dene specic
phenomena within more general categories,
systematize knowledge, generalize, structure
descriptive, empirical material through the
creation of objective classications. With their
help, the characteristic of the phenomenon,
the object is given by its generic aliation,
uniquely determined by its position (place) in
the system of objective knowledge, it is pos-
sible to predict in advance the entire range of
its essential characteristics. If the individual
formed this operation, then object allocation
and assignment to one category or another,
determining its generic aliation becomes
a «simple» auto-execute action. The unit of
thinking itself becomes larger, a person begins
to operate with classes, not individual objects.
Thinking becomes multidimensional, com-
plex (linearity, unidirectionality disappear),
the ability to theoretical modeling is formed.
This ability allows to understand articial sys-
tems (for example, programming languages),
scientic constructions (for example, periodic
table of elements, determinants used in botany
or archeology, etc.). It allows you to easily
see and learn the system of «articial» rules
that operate in a certain area, characterizes
the sense of the structure of the language (or
structural-linguistic abilities). On this subtest,
the student players got the lowest value that
shows the diculties in the implementation of
the categorization of concepts.
The tasks of the sixth subtest measure
the development of formal logical thinking,
the ability to operate with relationships, de-
pendencies, regardless of the quality of the
information content, to make various logical
transformations of the operations themselves.
The subtest can characterize thinking of three
types depending on what intellectual opera-
tions formal logical thinking (or symboliza-
tion of what is) is built on, what relations a
person is trained to operate. On the basis of the
developed conceptual thinking, a full-edged
abstract thinking can be formed, which raises
the functioning of the intellect as a whole to
a qualitatively higher level. A new, more per-
fect type of it arises. The owner of such intel-
ligence receives signicant advantages over
other people. The speed and accuracy of in-
formation processing and penetration into its
essence increase several times, because the
very principle of its perception changes. In or-
der to master any area of knowledge, a person
with the intelligence of the «pre-abstract» type
is forced to form a system of representations
about this area, then analyze it, generalize
and thus highlight the underlying patterns: it
always takes a long period of knowledge ac-
cumulation, a lot of time is spent on its subse-
quent systematization. In the presence of ab-
stract thinking the accumulation of knowledge
is not required to understand the essence, the
system of laws and relationships is captured
as you become familiar with the new informa-
tion. Emerging understanding is holistic and
systematic, even if the information comes ran-
domly. The process of familiarization with the
material takes place through the imposition of
available in the human head natural «abstract»
grid that structures and systematizes any in-
coming information. Instead of a few years of
training, a few months is enough for that. The
quality of education is also signicantly im-
proved. Thanks to abstract thinking, a person
sees the incorrectness of constructions, logi-
cal inaccuracies and errors in the process of
mastering new areas of scientic or practical
activity, which are not visible to specialists, if
they do not have developed abstract thinking.
Indicators of abstract thinking are also signi-
cantly lower in the group of students-eSports
The found correlations had the opposite
character, which allows us to assert about the
lower level of development of logical thinking
among students-eSports players (table 2).
Pishchik, V. I., Molokhina G. A., Petrenko E. A., & Milova Yu.V. (2019). Features of mental activity of stu-
dents – esport players, International Journal of Cognitive Research in Science, Engineering and Education
(IJCRSEE), 7(2), 67-76
Table 2. Correlation analysis of eSports
activities and indicators of logical thinking
The least close correlation is observed
in subtest 2, its tasks are aimed at assessing
the development of conceptual thinking op-
erations based on intuitive analysis. It can be
assumed that the ability (or inability) of an in-
dividual to intuitively identify the main thing
is least associated with active playing com-
puter games. In turn, the closest relationship is
obtained by subtest 4. Consequently, students-
eSports players have less developed ability
to identify and refer the object to a particular
category, to determine its generic aliation.
Students playing computer games are more
characterized by linearity, unidirectionality of
thinking than the not playing students.
Table 3 presents the results of the diag-
nosis of the level of formation of general men-
tal abilities, the level of critical thinking and
thinking styles. The majority of the subjects
experience obvious diculty in the interpre-
tation of the facts, statements, schedules, in
determining the meaning of the values in the
description of facts, events and their distribu-
tion by categories.
Table 3. Results of the diagnostic of the
stylistic peculiarities of thinking of students-
eSports players and students not involved in
We do not nd signicant dierences
in the level of general mental abilities among
students-eSports players and students who are
not engaged in eSports.
Figure 2. Results of diagnostics of the
level of general mental abilities of eSports stu-
dents and non-eSports students
ESports students have a lower level of
critical thinking than non-eSports students (U
= 124,500, ≥ 0,05).
Figure 3. Results of diagnostics of the
level of critical thinking of students-eSports
players and students that are not involved in
The ability to analyze, identify signi-
cant arguments, planned and existing logical
connections among statements, questions,
concepts at a high level is typical for students
with a high level of critical thinking. Students
with a low level of critical thinking nd it dif-
cult to assess information or judgments ana-
lytically, ignoring obvious alternative points
of view; nd it dicult to make reasonable,
judicious, error-free conclusions, identify the
consequences arising from the data, formulate
a strategy for nding and collecting informa-
tion in order to clarify the evidence, design
alternative hypotheses; it is dicult to sub-
stantiate key results, to present reasoning us-
ing convincing arguments, to create a graphi-
cal presentation to explain and illustrate the
actual material.
An acceptable level of development of
Pishchik, V. I., Molokhina G. A., Petrenko E. A., & Milova Yu.V. (2019). Features of mental activity of stu-
dents – esport players, International Journal of Cognitive Research in Science, Engineering and Education
(IJCRSEE), 7(2), 67-76
critical thinking skills is characterized by the
ability to apply critical thinking skills in the
analysis and evaluation of their own or oth-
ers’ logical judgments in order to conrm, ap-
prove, correct reasoning or results.
The results of the test indicate an insu-
cient level of development of critical thinking
skills among students-eSports players.
To study the thinking style, the meth-
od of «Thinking style» by A. K. Belousova
was used (Belousova, A. K. and Pishchik, V.
I., 2011). In the research process of style of
thinking, we obtained results that allow us to
build a prole of thinking style of young play-
ers (gure 4).
Figure 4. Results of the diagnostic of the
stylistic peculiarities of thinking of students-
competitive players and students that are not
involved in eSports
There are dierences in the prole of
thinking styles:
Students-eSports players’ prole of
thinking style is represented by the
following combination of styles:
PraTS – ProTS – MTS – CTS.
Students who are not engaged in eS-
ports are characterized by such pro-
le: PraTS – CTS – ProTS и MTS.
Signicant dierences between students-
eSports players and students who are not en-
gaged in eSports, were found in the expression
of an proactive thinking style (U = 125,000,
0,05). For the rest of the thinking styles
signicant dierences were not identied, but
we can speak about the stylistic peculiarities
in the mental activities of these groups of stu-
dents, as they can be traced not only by the
values of dierences in summary measures of
severity of thinking styles in groups, but also
on the specics of the structure of the averaged
proles of thinking style. Prole of students-
eSports players is dominated by the practical
thinking style, then proactive, managerial,
critical thinking style completes the prole. In
the prole of students who do not engage in
eSports, also dominates the practical thinking
style, but the second position in the prole is a
critical thinking style, then equally expressed
proactive and managerial thinking styles.
Whereas the prole of the thinking style is a
certain combination of functions aimed at the
production and development of tumors, mani-
fested in the dynamics and direction of human
mental activity (Belousova, A. K., 2002), we
can imagine this combination as a construct
that is formed under the inuence of external
conditions, including human-solved certain
tasks. I.e., if it is a general practice oriented
the direction of thinking of students-eSports
players and students-amateur players, there
are clear dierences in the stylistic character-
istics of thinking of these groups of students.
The dominant function of realization of ideas
of students-eSports players is associated pri-
marily with the function of generating ideas,
nding new solutions, initiation of mental ac-
tivity, further signicant is the meaning, and
in the last place is the function of selection
of information. Presumably, we can connect
this with the tasks that eSports students solve
on a daily basis, carrying out specic gaming
activities within the framework of team func-
tioning. While students-amateur players are
characterized by the conjugation of the func-
tion of practical implementation of ideas in
the rst place with the function of selection
of information, and the function of generating
ideas and their meaning to other people to a
lesser extent determine the mental activity of
this group of students, but it is equally impor-
tant for its implementation. In other words, the
style specicity of mental activity is formed
under the inuence of actual activity and the
specicity of the tasks.
Correlation analysis of the relationship
between the indicators of style features of
thinking showed dierences in correlation be-
tween groups of students-eSports players and
students who are not involved in eSports.
The following correlations were found
in the group of eSports-students.
Pishchik, V. I., Molokhina G. A., Petrenko E. A., & Milova Yu.V. (2019). Features of mental activity of stu-
dents – esport players, International Journal of Cognitive Research in Science, Engineering and Education
(IJCRSEE), 7(2), 67-76
Table 4. Correlation analysis of style
characteristics of students-eSports players
Proactive thinking style is positively
correlated with the level of intelligence (r =
0,474, 0,05) and critical thinking (r =
0,472, 0,05). Critical thinking is nega-
tively correlated with practical thinking (r =
-0,517, 0,05) and positively with the
level of general mental ability r = 0,916,
Table 5. Correlation analysis of the style
characteristics of students not involved in eS-
There are few connections in the group
of students not involved in eSports. The level
of general mental abilities of students is posi-
tively correlated with critical thinking (r =
0,658, ≤ 0,01) and negatively – with practi-
cal thinking style (r = -0,482, ≤ 0,05).
In general, it was found that the entire
sample of students is characterized by a low
level of critical thinking skills, problem points
are indicators of interpretation, analysis and
self-regulation. Most students are character-
ized by diculties in interpreting facts, graph-
ic data, unable to identify strong relevant ar-
guments «for» and «against». Despite the fact
that such indicators as «assessment», «formu-
lation of conclusions», «explanation» are in
the majority of students and e-athletes in the
area of high and acceptable levels of devel-
opment, the problem of formation of critical
thinking skills remains open. Indicators of the
level of critical thinking signicantly lower in
the group of students-eSports players.
Thus, the obtained results actualize the
problem of further in-depth study of the pe-
culiarities of mental activity of young people
engaged in eSports, the creation and imple-
mentation of a system of relevant activities
and complex projects for the development of
scientic, educational and creative environ-
ment in the structures involved in the training
of eSports players.
Games are actively included in the life
of the younger generation. Computer game
becomes a professional activity. There is a
controversial problem – games develop cogni-
tive processes or block their development in
gamers. Most authors (Clark, K., Fleck, M.S.
and Mitro, S. R., 2011) pay attention to the
study of perception, attention, memory of
gamers and a lesser extent to thinking. Today,
the study of the thinking styles of gamers is
an extremely important problem. Bogacheva,
N. V. and Vojskunskij A. E. (2015) showed
that active players have the following stylis-
tic characteristics of thinking: reexivity, eld
independence, exible cognitive control. Our
study contradicts this study, we found out that
the development of logical thinking of gam-
ers is low, especially it concerns of concep-
tual categorization. Maybe this is due to the
fact that the conceptual categorization is based
on the gamer’s vocabulary, his verbal intelli-
gence. However, our data combined with the
results of the study of Savchenko, A. A. and
Nikishina, N. A. (2011) which proves that the
fascination with computer games slows down
thought processes.
Studies of the impact of computer
games on the cognitive, intellectual processes
of players are quite controversial. However,
the evidence of developing, training nature of
their inuence on various processes – from the
reaction rate to analytical thinking and cogni-
tive control prevail.
In the course of the study, it was found
out that students-eSports players, daily spend-
ing more than four hours playing a computer
game, have a relatively lower level of devel-
opment of logical and critical thinking than
students who does not play computer games
Pishchik, V. I., Molokhina G. A., Petrenko E. A., & Milova Yu.V. (2019). Features of mental activity of stu-
dents – esport players, International Journal of Cognitive Research in Science, Engineering and Education
(IJCRSEE), 7(2), 67-76
There are signicant dierences be-
tween groups of students-eSports players and
non-eSports players in the level of develop-
ment of intuitive conceptual thinking, con-
ceptual logical thinking, in the ability to con-
ceptual categorization, abstract thinking and
selective information processing. Through the
correlation analysis statistically signicant in-
verse relationship between the practice of eS-
ports and the level of development of logical
thinking was discovered.
The majority of students in both groups
have an obvious diculty in the interpretation
of the facts, statements, charts; in determin-
ing the meaning of; to describe facts, events
and their distribution by categories. It is es-
tablished that the level of critical thinking of
students-eSports players is lower than that of
students not engaged in eSports.
The dierences of the style charac-
teristics of thinking of students-competitive
players and students that are not involved in
eSports professionally, expressed in the dier-
ences of the average prole of thinking and
the specics of the co-ordination of cognitive
functions: the initiation of mental activity, se-
lective sampling of information, mislabeled,
applied to implement the ideas, were discov-
ered. The study of style features of thinking
showed that there are dierences in the prole
of students’ thinking styles:
Sudents-eSports players’ prole of
thinking style is represented by the
following combination of styles:
PraTS – ProTS – MTS – CTS, in
mental activity the focus on practi-
cal implementation and generation
of ideas dominates.
Students who are not engaged in eS-
ports professionally are character-
ized by such prole: PraTS CTS
– ProTS and MTS, in mental activity
the focus on practical implementa-
tion of ideas an selection of informa-
tion dominates.
In the group of students-eSports players
a closer and more complete correlation be-
tween the indicators of the style characteris-
tics of thinking and the level of general mental
ability was discovered.
The authors thank the project supervi-
sor Abakumova I. V. for the support in the re-
Funding: The article was prepared with
the nancial support of the Russian Founda-
tion for Basic Research. Project No. 18-29-
22004 «Psychological and genetic research of
the predictors that determine the behavior of
users in the perception of Internet content of
various informational orientation».
PraTS – practical thinking style, CTS
– critical thinking style, ProTS – proactive
thinking style, MTS – managerial thinking
Conict of interests
The authors declare no conict of inter-
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Today, playing digital games is an important part of many young people's everyday lives. Claims have been made that certain games, in particular massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) provide L2 English learners with a linguistically rich and cognitively challenging virtual environment that may be conducive to L2 learning, as learners get ample opportunities for L2 input and scaffolded interaction in the L2. In this paper, we present empirical evidence that L2 English proficiency correlates with the frequency of gaming and types of games played. We base our observation on a study among young L2 English learners (N = 86, aged 11–12, Sweden). Data were collected through a questionnaire, a language diary, and three proficiency tests. The questionnaire provided demographic background information but was also targeted at measuring extramural English habits, i.e., learners’ out-of-school contact with English (cf. Sundqvist, 2009). The diary measured how much time the learners spent on seven predetermined extramural English activities during one week, while the tests measured their achieved L2 proficiency regarding reading and listening comprehension, and vocabulary. Previous research among learners aged 15–16 (Sundqvist, 2009) showed positive correlations between playing digital games and L2 proficiency, in particular with regard to vocabulary, and also identified gender-related differences regarding vocabulary (boys outperformed girls) as well as the frequency of gaming and types of games played. These results were corroborated in the present study. A clear pattern emerged from our data: frequent gamers (≥ 5 hours/week) outperformed moderate gamers who, in turn, outperformed non-gamers. Background variables could not explain the between-group differences. Even though the boys might have been more proficient or apt than the girls a priori and, therefore, chose to engage more in L2 gaming, the findings suggest that playing digital games at an early age can be important for L2 acquisition.
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Video games are a ubiquitous part of almost all children's and adolescents' lives, with 97% playing for at least one hour per day in the United States. The vast majority of research by psychologists on the effects of "gaming" has been on its negative impact: the potential harm related to violence, addiction, and depression. We recognize the value of that research; however, we argue that a more balanced perspective is needed, one that considers not only the possible negative effects but also the benefits of playing these games. Considering these potential benefits is important, in part, because the nature of these games has changed dramatically in the last decade, becoming increasingly complex, diverse, realistic, and social in nature. A small but significant body of research has begun to emerge, mostly in the last five years, documenting these benefits. In this article, we summarize the research on the positive effects of playing video games, focusing on four main domains: cognitive, motivational, emotional, and social. By integrating insights from developmental, positive, and social psychology, as well as media psychology, we propose some candidate mechanisms by which playing video games may foster real-world psychosocial benefits. Our aim is to provide strong enough evidence and a theoretical rationale to inspire new programs of research on the largely unexplored mental health benefits of gaming. Finally, we end with a call to intervention researchers and practitioners to test the positive uses of video games, and we suggest several promising directions for doing so. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2013 APA, all rights reserved).
Over the last 40 years, computer games have become an extremely popular leisure activity and more recently there has also been interest in the potential of serious games to help in learning, skill acquisition and attitude and behaviour change. Initially public interest in computer games focused on concerns about their violent and gender stereotyped content and their potentially addictive properties, but more recently the benefits of games have also been recognised. Psychology is at the interface between science, cognitive science and social science and in this paper we examine the role that theories and research in psychology have played in understanding the impacts of playing games, the appeal of games and the potential of games in supporting learning and behaviour change.
Media enjoyment is theorized by synthesizing empirical literature from uses and gratifications with Csikszentmihalyi's flow theory. This article argues that enjoyment of media results from a flow experience realized when media message content balances with individual ability to interpret that message. Further, it theorizes that media experience, along with individual differences in cognitive abilities, facilitates or prevents flow state in media users. Therefore, it is a balance between individual differences in cognitive abilities and media message challenges that explains enjoyment of media use. The authors offer the case of video game usage as an exemplar, and examples of cognitive tasks are provided and linked to game genre content.
Despite the word's common usage by gamers and reviewers alike, it is still not clear what immersion means. This paper explores immersion further by investigating whether immersion can be defined quantitatively, describing three experiments in total. The first experiment investigated participants’ abilities to switch from an immersive to a non-immersive task. The second experiment investigated whether there were changes in participants’ eye movements during an immersive task. The third experiment investigated the effect of an externally imposed pace of interaction on immersion and affective measures (state anxiety, positive affect, negative affect). Overall the findings suggest that immersion can be measured subjectively (through questionnaires) as well as objectively (task completion time, eye movements). Furthermore, immersion is not only viewed as a positive experience: negative emotions and uneasiness (i.e. anxiety) also run high.
Recent research has shown that avid action video game players (VGPs) outperform non-video game players (NVGPs) on a variety of attentional and perceptual tasks. However, it remains unknown exactly why and how such differences arise; while some prior research has demonstrated that VGPs' improvements stem from enhanced basic perceptual processes, other work indicates that they can stem from enhanced attentional control. The current experiment used a change-detection task to explore whether top-down strategies can contribute to VGPs' improved abilities. Participants viewed alternating presentations of an image and a modified version of the image and were tasked with detecting and localizing the changed element. Consistent with prior claims of enhanced perceptual abilities, VGPs were able to detect the changes while requiring less exposure to the change than NVGPs. Further analyses revealed this improved change detection performance may result from altered strategy use; VGPs employed broader search patterns when scanning scenes for potential changes. These results complement prior demonstrations of VGPs' enhanced bottom-up perceptual benefits by providing new evidence of VGPs' potentially enhanced top-down strategic benefits.