Decision making, cognitive distortions and emotional distress: a comparison between pathological gamblers and healthy controls

Ciccarelli, M., Griffiths, M.D. ORCID: 0000-0001-8880-6524, Nigro, G. and Cosenza, M., 2017. Decision making, cognitive distortions and emotional distress: a comparison between pathological gamblers and healthy controls. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 54, pp. 204-210. ISSN 0005-7916

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Abstract

Background and objectives: The etiology of problem gambling is multifaceted and complex. Among others factors, poor decision making, cognitive distortions (i.e., irrational beliefs about gambling), and emotional factors (e.g., negative mood states) appear to be among the most important factors in the development and maintenance of problem gambling. Although empirical evidence has suggested that cognitive distortions facilitate gambling and negative emotions are associated with gambling, the interplay between cognitive distortions, emotional states, and decision making in gambling remains unexplored. Methods: Pathological gamblers (N=54) and healthy controls (N=54) completed the South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS), the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT), the Gambling Related Cognitions Scale (GRCS), and the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale (DASS-21). Results: Compared to healthy controls, pathological gamblers showed poorer decision making and reported higher scores on measures assessing cognitive distortions and emotional distress. All measures were positively associated with gambling severity. A significant negative correlation between decision making and cognitive distortions was also observed. No associations were found between poor decision making and emotional distress. Logistic regressi on analysis indicated that cognitive distortions, emotional distress, and poor decision making were significant predictors of problem gambling. Limitations: The use of self-report measures and the absence of female participants limit the generalizability of the reported findings. Conclusions: The present study is the first to demonstrate the mutual influence between irrational beliefs and poor decision making, as well as the role of cognitive bias, emotional distress, and poor decision making in gambling disorder.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry
Creators: Ciccarelli, M., Griffiths, M.D., Nigro, G. and Cosenza, M.
Publisher: Elsevier
Date: March 2017
Volume: 54
ISSN: 0005-7916
Identifiers:
NumberType
10.1016/j.jbtep.2016.08.012DOI
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Depositing User: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 20 Sep 2016 13:40
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2017 10:26
URI: http://irep.ntu.ac.uk/id/eprint/28579

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