My colleague Dr Maria Panagiotidi and I have just published a new study on Game Transfer Phenomena in the journal Computers in Human Behavior, “The interplay between executive function deficits, psychopathological traits, and dysfunctional gaming habits in the context of Game Transfer Phenomena”.
Many manifestations of GTP seem to reflect failures in attention (e.g., interruptions, distractions, and absentmindedness) and poor inhibitory control at a behaviour level when player fails to stop automatic behaviours after encountering stimuli associated with the game. Therefore, in this study, we took the first step to understand if cognitive failures, dysfunctional gaming habits related to fatigue and states of fatigue play a role in GTP. We also looked at the relationship between GTP and gaming disorder. Additionally, since states of fatigue can compromise performance and self-control of our behaviours, it was also interesting to understand the role of fatigue in GTP.
A total of 249 video game players participated in the study, 76% male, with a mean age of 26.53 years old.
We used self-report measures and assessed players’ executive function via cognitive tasks (SART and GNG).
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- The prevalence of GTP in the sample was 95.9% during the last 12 months.
- Most (70%) had experienced GTP more than once during their lives.
- Most players in the study’s sample did not suffer from any clinical/neurological conditions, and these factors were not associated with GTP. Nevertheless, susceptibility to ADHD was associated with GTP.
- Cognitive failures (minor attentional errors, memory errors, and action slips that tend to occur with routine and overlearned tasks) predicted GTP. Although, performance failures in the cognitive task measuring sustained attention and inhibitory control were not associated with GTP.
- Dysfunctional gaming habits related to sleep hygiene such as keep playing while being tired and sleeping less because of playing predicted GTP.
- Gaming disorder was a strong predictor of GTP and the relationship between GTP and gaming disorder was partially explained by dysfunctional gaming habits related to sleep hygiene.