Measuring Higher-Order Cognitive Skills in Collective Interactions with Computer Game



The present study is focused on testing the computer game system ‘PL-modified’ as a diagnostic tool for measurement of higher-order cognitive skills by middle-school students in individual and collaborative game. The ‘PL-modified’ is a computer system designed as a game which implies a set of concrete parameters specially elaborated for assessment of the cognitive actions of analysis, planning, and reflection — the basic higher-order cognitive functions which determine high achievements in school education according to the Russian theory of developmental education. 189 middle-school students at the age of 11—12 years participated in this study. Two research questions were asked: 1) whether the cognitive actions of analysis, planning, and reflection measured by special markers of the computer game system performance are correlated with each other as a valid indicator for the new constructed diagnostic instrument; 2) which type of the game — individual or collaborative — provides better conditions for manifestation of the above mentioned higher mental actions. Abstract intelligence as an additional anticipated factor for high game performance was also assessed and controlled. It was revealed that participants exhibit the higher level of the cognitive actions of analysis and planning in collaborative game. At the same time the patterns of the interactions between the researched variables as well as distinct parameters of game performance are determined by the concrete level of intelligence which rather varies in different pairs of collaborators. We discuss our results from the position of the further prospects for the application of the ‘Pl-modified’ computer system as a potential instrument of measurement and development of higher-order thinking actions. In terms of the modern educational programs teachers need simple diagnostic tools for measurement of school-children’s thinking development. Traditional ‘pen-and-paper’ techniques become quickly outdated as much as they may not be sufficiently motivationally attractive for children and focus only on the result of the thinking process. In this regard, such diagnostic instrument formed in the format of a computer game and centered on the whole gaming process allows fixing children’s actions and provides important information on the dynamic characteristics of their mental process.

General Information

Keywords: The ‘PL-modified’ computer game system, higher-order cognitive skills, individual and col- laborative game, intelligence, decision making.

Journal rubric: Educational Psychology


For citation: Margolis A.A., Gavrilova E.V., Kuravsky L.S., Shepeleva E.A., Voitov V.K., Ermakov S.S., Dumin P.N. Measuring Higher-Order Cognitive Skills in Collective Interactions with Computer Game. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2021. Vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 90–104. DOI: 10.17759/chp.2021170209.


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Information About the Authors

Arkadiy A. Margolis, PhD in Psychology, Rector, Professor, Chair of Pedagogical Psychology, Moscow State University of Psychology & Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Evgeniya V. Gavrilova, PhD in Psychology, Research Fellow, Centre of Applied Researches in Psychology and Education, Moscow State University of Psychology and Educationsocial, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Lev S. Kuravsky, Doctor of Engineering, professor, Dean of the Computer Science Faculty, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Elena A. Shepeleva, PhD in Psychology, Senior Research Fellow of the Sector "Center for Cognitive Research of the Digital Educational Environment" CIRCC, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Vladimir K. Voitov, PhD in Engineering, Professor at the Faculty of Information Technology, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Sergey S. Ermakov, PhD in Psychology, Senior Researcher of the Laboratory "Information Technologies for Psychological Diagnostics" Associate Professor of the Department of "Age Psychology named after Professor L.F.Obukhova" of the Faculty of "Psychology of Education", Associate Professor of the Department of "Applied Mathematics" of the Faculty of "Information Technology"., Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Pavel N. Dumin, PhD in Physics and Matematics, head of laboratory of quantitative psychology, faculty of information technologies, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education (MSUPE), Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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