In this research article, “Information Technology Use and Creativity: Findings from the Children and Technology Project”, studies how kids creativity is affected by their use of information technology. Researchers used Internet use, videogames, cell phones, and computer use to measure information technology use. Creativity, although seems simple, is a very complex concept to define. In this research creativity was defined as the ability to come up with open-minded answers to a question or envision multiple solutions for a problem. The hypothesis for this study is that the more a child uses technology and plays videogames, the more creative the child will be. The independent variable is the child’s information technology usage and the dependent variable is their creativity level, or how creative their answers are in these surveys. Four hundred ninety-one kids, all twelve years old, participated in this project, and were asked to respond to two target stimuli at the beginning of the study. One took the form of a curved shape, or an egg, and the child was told to think of the most creative picture they could think of including the egg shape. The second stimuli was an elf like figure, which was laying in front of a pool looking at its reflection, and the children were asked to think of the most creative response as to what was happening in the picture. In the next three pages after the stimuli, the kids were asked questions about what seemed to be happening in the picture, possible causes as to why they thought what they thought was happening in the picture, and as many possibilities as to what might happen next as a result of what’s happening in the picture. In a separate section, the children were asked to indicate approximately how much technology they use, and were told to write in what their favorite videogame is. They used a seven-point scale to measure their technology use, where one was not at all and seven was everyday for more than three hours. The kid’s open-ended responses to the egg and the elf stimuli were then graded on originality, elaboration, and fluency, number of words or questions, and flexibility. The outcome of the study does support the researchers hypothesis because the end results that there is in fact a relationship between playing videogames and creativity, although with the other types information technology there was no relationship with creativity levels. This research study is correlational because it is simply testing the relationship between two things, meaning there are not or cannot be any cause and effect relationships.
In the popular press article, “Research: Video Games Help with Creativity in Boys and Girls”, states that creativity levels in kids are affected by their video game usage because a study done in Michigan proves it. It explains how in the study done, children chose to take part in creative thinking tests. These tests included questions and a drawing and they were asked to expand their thoughts, as well answer questions about their technology usage. This article also goes into detail about how the National Science Foundation performed another study where they concluded that people who play video games have better visual-spatial skills and how in previous studies it was seen that kids had increased reading scores because they used the Internet. This is because the fact that the Internet requires kids to read. It concludes saying that more research will be needed to prove a causal link between these two variables, video games and creativity, and how the new findings should motivate video game makers to find out which aspects of a game help creativity levels.
Overall, this article was not very accurate and left out many important details from the research study. For example, how creativity was defined in the study and what all the children had to do. The author did use language that implied a causal relationship such as “children who used the Internet increased their reading scores” and “video game players had better visual spatial skills” (Snider). Causal conclusions cannot be made from correlational studies because correlations are a mutual relationship between two or more things and just because two things correlate does not mean that one causes the other. Also, there may be an unknown third factor affecting those two variables. Kids who play videogames scored higher on creative thinking tests because video games cause kids to solve tasks that have different ways of completing them and this logical thinking transfers to creativity and problem solving, which is an alternative solution to why kids that play more video games have an increased creativity level.
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