The Relationship of the Preferred Types of Digital Games and Executive Functions in 6-7-Year-Old Children



This study aimed to examine the relationship of the types of digital games preferred by preschoolers and their executive functions. For a more detailed study we created a classification of the games in question based on the content analysis of the participants’ interview, game mechanism, and the required cognitive functions. 6 types of digital games were developed: quick reaction games, logic games, educational games, strategic games, drawing games, and simulators. The overall sample comprised 335 children (48.6% girls) aged 6–7 (M=74.6 months, SD=6.06 months). The study included assessment of the executive functions and an interview about digital games. We used the NEPSY-II subtests to measure the examinees’ executive functions level: visual and verbal working memory, and inhibition. We also used “The Dimensional Change Card Sort” to assess cognitive flexibility. Data analysis revealed that quick reaction games were the most popular at this age. The next favourite were logic games, strategic games, and simulators’. The study demonstrated quick reaction game players’ visual working memory was better developed than in the non-players. Logic game players processed information at a higher speed than the non-players. Simulation game players obtained higher score in cognitive inhibition, than the children who didn’t like this type of games.

General Information

Keywords: early childhood, digital games, executive functions, quick reaction games, working memory, inhibition, cognitive flexibility, information processing speed

Journal rubric: Developmental Psychology

Article type: scientific article


Received: 09.06.2023


For citation: Plotnikova V.A., Bukhalenkova D.A., Chichinina E.A. The Relationship of the Preferred Types of Digital Games and Executive Functions in 6-7-Year-Old Children. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie = Psychological Science and Education, 2023. Vol. 28, no. 4, pp. 32–51. DOI: 10.17759/pse.2023280402. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Valeriya A. Plotnikova, Student, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Daria A. Bukhalenkova, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor, Department of Educational Psychology and Pedagogy, Faculty of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Researcher, Laboratory of Child Psychology and Digital Socialization, Psychological Institute of Russian Academy of Education, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Elena A. Chichinina, Junior Researcher of the Department of Educational Psychology and Pedagogy, Faculty of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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