Honors Theses


Mary Wagner Fuhs, Ph.D.



Publication Date


Document Type

Honors Thesis


The ability to attend to relevant information and resist attention to distractors is important for children’s cognitive development. Much has been written in the news about the impact of electronic media on children’s development of attention skills, but little research has been done explicitly comparing children’s attention to relevant information and resistance to distractions across activities that are presented as either a computerized or tactile learning game. The goal of this study is to compare levels of attention and distraction among preschool-aged children while they engage in a common childhood activity, playing a board game that is either presented in a computerized or tactile format. Children’s basic comprehension of the game across conditions was also compared. Participants consisted of twelve families (N=12), each including one parent and one preschooler (Age 3-6). Participants were randomly assigned to either the computerized or tactile condition. The Linear Numbers Board Game (Siegler & Ramani, 2009), which has shown to be helpful in teaching children about the number line, was used as the task. Children’s attention, distraction, and understanding were coded to determine how computerized and tactile games affect these skills. Results suggested that older children attended more to the game regardless of the condition and also made fewer errors. However, children paid more attention and were less distracted in the tactile version of the game, but also had a harder time understanding the tactile version of the game.

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This item is protected by copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code) and may only be used for noncommercial, educational, and scholarly purposes


Undergraduate research


Child Psychology | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences