Video games and poor work performance

Problematic video gaming could be disruptive for work performance, increasing the likelihood that gamers miss work or classes and reducing their effort if they do turn up.

These are the prelimanary findings of research conducted by Emily Collins, a PhD student from Goldsmiths, University of London. She is presenting her work today at the British Psychological Society Social Psychology Section annual conference in Cambridge.

In her study over 600 students and members of the public were classified as problematic gamers displaying features of game addiction, non-problematic gamer, or non-gamers, according to their responses on the Game Addiction Scale. Based also on their responses to risk-taking questionnaires, problematic gamers anticipated more work-related problems such as greater likelihood of missing work or class or not working hard enough.

Emily Collins said: “These findings have potential implications in terms of the possible effects of problematic gaming on the workplace, as individuals experiencing this may be more willing to procrastinate or miss deadlines. Although often compared to gambling, it may be a very different disorder as suggested by associations with very different traits and behaviours. The application of gambling-type treatments and approaches may not be appropriate for addressing problematic gaming.”

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