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Dissociable effects of game elements on motivation and cognition in a task-switching training in middle childhood.

Dörrenbächer S, Müller PM, Tröger J, Kray J - Front Psychol (2014)

Bottom Line: The results indicated that the addition of game elements to a training setting enhanced the intrinsic interest in task practice, independently of the cognitive demands placed by the training type.These motivation-induced benefits projected onto the switching performance in a switching situation different from the trained one (near-transfer measurement).Hence, the motivational setting clearly had a positive impact on the training motivation and on the paradigm-specific task-switching abilities; it did not, however, consistently generalize on broad cognitive processes.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Development of Language, Learning and Action, Saarland University Saarbrücken, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Although motivational reinforcers are often used to enhance the attractiveness of trainings of cognitive control in children, little is known about how such motivational manipulations of the setting contribute to separate gains in motivation and cognitive-control performance. Here we provide a framework for systematically investigating the impact of a motivational video-game setting on the training motivation, the task performance, and the transfer success in a task-switching training in middle-aged children (8-11 years of age). We manipulated both the type of training (low-demanding/single-task training vs. high-demanding/task-switching training) as well as the motivational setting (low-motivational/without video-game elements vs. high-motivational/with video-game elements) separately from another. The results indicated that the addition of game elements to a training setting enhanced the intrinsic interest in task practice, independently of the cognitive demands placed by the training type. In the task-switching group, the high-motivational training setting led to an additional enhancement of task and switching performance during the training phase right from the outset. These motivation-induced benefits projected onto the switching performance in a switching situation different from the trained one (near-transfer measurement). However, in structurally dissimilar cognitive tasks (far-transfer measurement), the motivational gains only transferred to the response dynamics (speed of processing). Hence, the motivational setting clearly had a positive impact on the training motivation and on the paradigm-specific task-switching abilities; it did not, however, consistently generalize on broad cognitive processes. These findings shed new light on the conflation of motivation and cognition in childhood and may help to refine guidelines for designing adequate training interventions.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Motivation index (number of voluntarily chosen blocks) as a function of Training Group (single-LM, single-HM, switching-LM, switching-HM) and Training Session (1,2,3,4). Error bars depict standard errors (SE) based on the group x session interaction comparing group conditions of the respective mixed ANOVA according to Jarmasz and Hollands (2009). Note that the selected variance estimators are not suited to compare session conditions.
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Figure 5: Motivation index (number of voluntarily chosen blocks) as a function of Training Group (single-LM, single-HM, switching-LM, switching-HM) and Training Session (1,2,3,4). Error bars depict standard errors (SE) based on the group x session interaction comparing group conditions of the respective mixed ANOVA according to Jarmasz and Hollands (2009). Note that the selected variance estimators are not suited to compare session conditions.

Mentions: Our results first revealed an effect on the motivational setting: In Figure 5 it can be seen that the high-motivational (HM) groups showed a higher amount of training interest than the low-motivational (LM) groups, [F(1, 49) = 21.81, p < 0.001, η2p = 0.31]. We found no group differences based on training type (p = 0.59). This suggests that intrinsic interest did not differ between the single-task training and the task-switching training groups. There were also no specific modulations of the training type within the levels of the training setting (both ps > 0.46). However, there was a significant contrast between the single-HM and the switching-LM group, [F(1, 25) = 13.91, p < 0.001, η2p = 0.22], indicating that the single-HM group showed a greater willingness to perform additional practice blocks than the task-switching group with a low-motivational setting. Hence, the training setting had a large impact on the training motivation independently of the type of training. We also obtained a main effect for Session, [F(3,147) = 5.99, p < 0.01, η2p = 0.11], pointing to a general decrease in the willingness of children to perform additional training blocks over time. However, we found no significant pairwise comparisons on this change (all ps > 0.07), indicating that groups did not differ in their decrease of training interest over time.


Dissociable effects of game elements on motivation and cognition in a task-switching training in middle childhood.

Dörrenbächer S, Müller PM, Tröger J, Kray J - Front Psychol (2014)

Motivation index (number of voluntarily chosen blocks) as a function of Training Group (single-LM, single-HM, switching-LM, switching-HM) and Training Session (1,2,3,4). Error bars depict standard errors (SE) based on the group x session interaction comparing group conditions of the respective mixed ANOVA according to Jarmasz and Hollands (2009). Note that the selected variance estimators are not suited to compare session conditions.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4230167&req=5

Figure 5: Motivation index (number of voluntarily chosen blocks) as a function of Training Group (single-LM, single-HM, switching-LM, switching-HM) and Training Session (1,2,3,4). Error bars depict standard errors (SE) based on the group x session interaction comparing group conditions of the respective mixed ANOVA according to Jarmasz and Hollands (2009). Note that the selected variance estimators are not suited to compare session conditions.
Mentions: Our results first revealed an effect on the motivational setting: In Figure 5 it can be seen that the high-motivational (HM) groups showed a higher amount of training interest than the low-motivational (LM) groups, [F(1, 49) = 21.81, p < 0.001, η2p = 0.31]. We found no group differences based on training type (p = 0.59). This suggests that intrinsic interest did not differ between the single-task training and the task-switching training groups. There were also no specific modulations of the training type within the levels of the training setting (both ps > 0.46). However, there was a significant contrast between the single-HM and the switching-LM group, [F(1, 25) = 13.91, p < 0.001, η2p = 0.22], indicating that the single-HM group showed a greater willingness to perform additional practice blocks than the task-switching group with a low-motivational setting. Hence, the training setting had a large impact on the training motivation independently of the type of training. We also obtained a main effect for Session, [F(3,147) = 5.99, p < 0.01, η2p = 0.11], pointing to a general decrease in the willingness of children to perform additional training blocks over time. However, we found no significant pairwise comparisons on this change (all ps > 0.07), indicating that groups did not differ in their decrease of training interest over time.

Bottom Line: The results indicated that the addition of game elements to a training setting enhanced the intrinsic interest in task practice, independently of the cognitive demands placed by the training type.These motivation-induced benefits projected onto the switching performance in a switching situation different from the trained one (near-transfer measurement).Hence, the motivational setting clearly had a positive impact on the training motivation and on the paradigm-specific task-switching abilities; it did not, however, consistently generalize on broad cognitive processes.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Development of Language, Learning and Action, Saarland University Saarbrücken, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Although motivational reinforcers are often used to enhance the attractiveness of trainings of cognitive control in children, little is known about how such motivational manipulations of the setting contribute to separate gains in motivation and cognitive-control performance. Here we provide a framework for systematically investigating the impact of a motivational video-game setting on the training motivation, the task performance, and the transfer success in a task-switching training in middle-aged children (8-11 years of age). We manipulated both the type of training (low-demanding/single-task training vs. high-demanding/task-switching training) as well as the motivational setting (low-motivational/without video-game elements vs. high-motivational/with video-game elements) separately from another. The results indicated that the addition of game elements to a training setting enhanced the intrinsic interest in task practice, independently of the cognitive demands placed by the training type. In the task-switching group, the high-motivational training setting led to an additional enhancement of task and switching performance during the training phase right from the outset. These motivation-induced benefits projected onto the switching performance in a switching situation different from the trained one (near-transfer measurement). However, in structurally dissimilar cognitive tasks (far-transfer measurement), the motivational gains only transferred to the response dynamics (speed of processing). Hence, the motivational setting clearly had a positive impact on the training motivation and on the paradigm-specific task-switching abilities; it did not, however, consistently generalize on broad cognitive processes. These findings shed new light on the conflation of motivation and cognition in childhood and may help to refine guidelines for designing adequate training interventions.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus