Publication Date

Fall 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Ronald F. Rogers


Academic Achievement, Attention Restoration Theory, Computer Games, Learning, Study Break, Virtual Nature

Subject Areas

Educational psychology; Cognitive psychology; Experimental psychology


This thesis addresses how attention restoration pertains to subsequent academic learning and whether natural video game settings facilitate attention restoration like physical environments. The researcher hypothesized that participants who played in a virtual nature setting of a video game would perform better on a comprehension test and obtain greater improvements on the SART from pretest to posttest than the simulated urban group. In addition, the experimenter expected the nature group to perform better on both of the aforementioned measures when given 15 min to play rather than 5 min. Finally, it was hypothesized that improvement on the SART would be positively correlated with performance on the comprehension test. However, these hypotheses were not supported by the results of this study. This thesis concludes with reasons for the lack of support, such as the apparent failure of the SART to adequately deplete participant attention, and offers several future directions for research.