A latest study found that playing Tetris, a block-stacking video game, can ease by nearly one-fifth not only cravings for food, but also cravings for cigarettes. The peculiarity of the study is that it was made on people ouside laboratory.
Studies made previously were made in laboratory and they found that Tetris helps to reduce cravings. Past studies mainly were focused on fodd cravings while the new one was interested in different kinds of cravings.
It was made by scientists from Queensland University of Technology and Plymouth University and they found that playing Tetris reduces cravings for coffee, smoking, alcohol, sex and sleeping.
Dr. Jackie Andrade, a professor of psychology at Plymouth University, and his teem consider that Tetris effect occurs because during a craving the man imagines the activity he wants to perform or the substance he wants to consume. When a man plays Tetris during his craving he involves his brain into a mental processes which do support the imagery. It is quite difficult to play Tetris and imagine smoking or alcohol at the same time. That is the explanation of effectiveness of the method.
For the study there were selected 31 young people aged between 18 and 27. All of them received iPods with the game Tetris. They were receiving texts 7 times per day to report on cravings they had. Also participants could reports cravings by themselves. Half of participants were asked to play Tetris for three minutes when they feel cravings and report it to the researchers. The other half were a control group.
Cravings were reported nearly 30% of the time, mainly for food and non-alcoholic drinks. 21% of the time were reported cravings for coffee, cigarettes, alcohol. The rest of cravings were for sleeping, sex, playing video games.
Researchers found that among those who played Tetris, when reporting cravings short stints of the game reduced cravings from 70% to 56%.
Researchers concluded that Tetris may be an effective method to help reduce cravings and manage addictions.