Monster Mischief: A Game-Based Assessment of Selective Sustained Attention in Young Children

Karrie Godwin, J.D. Lomas, Ken Koedinger, Anna Fisher

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientific


Selective sustained attention, or the ability to allocate perceptual and mental resources to a single object or event, is an important cognitive ability widely assumed to be required for learning. Assessing young children's selective sustained attention is challenging due to the limited number of sensitive and developmentally appropriate performance-based measures. Furthermore, administration of existing assessments is difficult, as children's engagement with such tasks wanes quickly. One potential solution is to provide assessments within an engaging environment, such as a video game. This chapter reports the design and psychometric validation of a video game (Monster Mischief) designed to assess selective sustained attention in preschool children. In a randomized controlled trial, the authors demonstrate that Monster Mischief is significantly correlated with an existing measure of selective sustained attention (rs ≥ 0.52), and more motivating for young children as almost three times more children preferred Monster Mischief to the existing measure.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExploring the Cognitive, Social, Cultural, and Psychological Aspects of Gaming and Simulations
EditorsBrock R. Dubbels
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages35
ISBN (Electronic) 9781522574620
ISBN (Print)9781522574613
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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