Big five personality traits and alcohol, nicotine, cannabis, and gambling disorder comorbidity [subscription access article].

Abstract: The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM; 5th ed.) reassignment of gambling disorder as an addictive disorder alongside the substance-related addictive disorders encourages research into their shared etiologies. The aims of this study were to examine: (a) the associations of Big Five personality dimensions with alcohol, nicotine, cannabis, and gambling disorders, (b) the comorbidity between these disorders, (c) the extent to which common personality underpinnings explain comorbidity, (d) whether results differed for men and women, and (e) the magnitude of personality differences corresponding to the 4 disorders. Participants were 3,785 twins and siblings (1,365 men, 2,420 women; Mage = 32 years, range = 21–46 years) from the Australian Twin Registry who completed psychiatric interviews and Big Five personality inventories. The personality profile of high neuroticism, low agreeableness, and low conscientiousness was associated with all 4 addictive disorders. All but 1 of the pairwise associations between the disorders were significant. After accounting for Big Five traits, the associations were attenuated to varying degrees but remained significant. The results were generally similar for men and women. The results suggest that the Big Five traits of neuroticism, agreeableness, and conscientiousness are associated with the general propensity to develop an addictive disorder and may in part explain their co-occurrence; however, they may be more broadly associated with the propensity for any psychiatric disorder. The effect sizes of the personality associations suggest that the diagnosis of gambling disorder as operationalized by the DSM may be more severe than the other addictive disorders. Calibration of the diagnosis of gambling disorder to the other addictive disorders may be warranted. Article available from APA PsycNET $11.95

Reference: Dash, Genevieve F., Slutske, Wendy S., Martin, Nicholas G., Statham, Dixie J., Agrawal, Arpana, & Lynskey, Michael T. (2019). Big Five Personality Traits and Alcohol, Nicotine, Cannabis, and Gambling Disorder Comorbidity. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, (16 May).

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Mindfulness problems and depression symptoms in everyday life predict dark flow during slots play: Implications for gambling as a form of escape. [subscription access article]

Abstract: Slot machine players refer to a state of absorption that researchers have labeled dark flow. Players become completely occupied by the game and forget everything else (leading to “dark” consequences such as spending more money than intended). We propose that players who experience dark flow have difficulty staying on task in everyday life, but, the reinforcing sights and sounds of slot machines rein in these otherwise wandering minds and induce these flow-like states. We assessed 129 gamblers for mindfulness problems (using the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale), gambling problems (using the Problem Gambling Severity Index), and depressive symptoms (using the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale). Participants played a slot machine simulator and were periodically interrupted with thought probes to assess whether they were thinking about the game or about something else. After playing, we retrospectively assessed dark flow and positive affect during play.

Our key results were that mindfulness problems outside of the gambling context were positively correlated with depression, problem gambling status, and most importantly, dark flow within the gambling context. Dark flow was positively correlated with positive affect during play and the combination of dark flow and depression predicted gambling problems. The picture that emerges is that individuals with mindfulness problems in everyday life find their attention locked in by slot machines inducing dark flow, which in turn leads to a state of positive affect. For depressed players especially, this state may be enjoyable because it provides an escape from the negative mentation linked to depression that characterizes the everyday lives of these troubled players. Article details and access conditions

Citation: Dixon, M. J., Gutierrez, J., Stange, M., Larche, C. J., Graydon, C., Vintan, S., Kruger, T. B. (2019). Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, Jan 07, no pagination specified. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).

Gamble Much? How to Figure out if You’ve Got a Problem: Get inside the mind of the compulsive gambler [Full text]

Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D.. 

Psychology Today

Abstract: Almost everyone has gambled at some point in life, but as many as 3.5% may have a form of gambling disorder. Psychology’s understanding of gambling disorder continues to evolve. Up until recently, people who we might call compulsive gamblers were regarded as having a disorder of “impulse control.” Psychiatry’s diagnostic manual, the DSM-IV-TR (link is external), placed compulsive gambling, called “pathological gambling,” in the section of disorders that also included kleptomania, pyromania, and trichotillomania (compulsive hair-pulling). In their revamping of all psychological disorders, in light of new conceptualizations, DSM-5 places “gambling disorder” in a new category of “Non-Substance-Related-Disorders.” Rather than being more similar to people with compulsive behaviors, then, people with gambling disorder now are viewed as more similar to people who have a substance disorder.

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A Functional Analytic Approach to Understanding Disordered Gambling [Subscription access only]

Mark R. Dixon, Alyssa N. Wilson, Jordan Belisle, James B. Schreiber. 

The Psychological Record

Abstract: The Gambling Functional Assessment (GFA) hypothesized four possible maintaining functions of gambling behavior, including social attention, escape from aversive events, access to tangible items, and sensory stimulation. In the years following the GFA’s release, research teams have argued for a revised model of the GFA to account for just two possible functions maintaining gambling behavior (positive and negative reinforcement). In the current study, we examined the extent to which a four-factor gambling functional assessment was possible, sustaining a conceptual and theoretical orientation consistent with a functional behavioral account of gambling. Three hundred and sixty-five recreational and disordered gamblers completed a demographic survey, the South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS), and the GFA. An exploratory factor analysis was first conducted to determine GFA functional items that loaded onto a common factor, and a confirmatory factor analysis was conducted to determine if a four-factor model, consistent with the functional categories of the GFA, provided a good fit for the obtained data. Outcomes supported the model, suggesting that a four-factor functional account of gambling behavior can be obtained. Differing results obtained by separate research teams, however, suggest that more precise research may be needed in the development and analysis of functional instruments for use with gamblers.

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Cite this article as: Dixon, M.R., Wilson, A.N., Belisle, J. et al. Psychol Rec (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40732-018-0279-y

 

Gambling Warning Messages: The Impact of Winning and Losing on Message Reception Across a Gambling Session.

Ginley MK, Whelan JP, Keating HA, Meyers AW.

Gambling warning messages have been shown to lead to prevention and modification of risk-taking behaviors. Laboratory studies have shown messages can increase a player’s knowledge about gambling specific risks, modify their gambling-related cognitive distortions, and even change play. In the present laboratory study, participants were randomly assigned to a winning or losing slot machine gambling experience where they either viewed periodic warning messages or not. It was hypothesized that those in the message conditions would place smaller bets, spend more time considering bets, and spend less time gambling than those in the control conditions. We also hypothesized participants would play differently across the contexts of winning or losing. The results showed those who received warning messages while winning made the fewest number of spins and did not speed up their bet rate over the course of play as much as those in other conditions. Players who received warning messages while losing decreased the size of their bets over the course of play compared to those who received messages while winning. Despite receiving warning messages, losing players did not decrease their number of spins or rate of betting. Winning or losing during slot machine play appears to have significant consequences on the impact of a warning message. Whereas a message to change gambling behavior may encourage a winning gambler to stop play, the same message for a losing player may lead to a small minimization in harm by helping them to decrease bet size, though not their rate of betting. (PsycINFO Database Record

The Relationship Between Gambling Fallacies and Problem Gambling

Leonard, C. A., & Williams, R. J.

The cognitive model of problem gambling posits that erroneous gambling-related fallacies are key in the development and maintenance of problem gambling. However, this contention is based on cross-sectional rather than longitudinal associations between these constructs, and gambling fallacy instruments that may have inflated this associated by their inclusion of problem gambling symptomatology. The current research re-evaluates the relationship between problem gambling and gambling-specific erroneous cognitions in a 5-year longitudinal study of gambling using a psychometrically sound measure of erroneous gambling-related cognitions. The sample used in this study (n = 4,121) was recruited from the general population in Ontario, Canada, and the retention rate over 5 years was exceptionally high (93.9%). The total sample was similar, in age and gender distributions, to the census data at the time of data collection for Canadian adults (18-24 years, n = 265, 55.8% female; 25-44 years, n = 1,667, 56.4% female; 45-64 years, n = 1,731, 55.4% female; 65 + years, n = 458, 44.75% female). Results of both cross-sectional and longitudinal analyses confirm that gambling-specific fallacies appear to be etiologically related to the subsequent appearance of problem gambling, but to a weaker degree than previously presumed, and in a bidirectional manner.

Leonard, C. A., & Williams, R. J. (2016). The Relationship Between Gambling Fallacies and Problem Gambling. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors: Journal of the Society of Psychologists in Addictive Behaviors. http://doi.org/10.1037/adb0000189