Attentional biases in problem and non-problem gamblers

Ciccarelli, M., Nigro, G., Griffiths, M.D. ORCID: 0000-0001-8880-6524, Cosenza, M. and D’Olimpio, F., 2016. Attentional biases in problem and non-problem gamblers. Journal of Affective Disorders, 198, pp. 135-141. ISSN 0165-0327

PubSub5121_Griffiths.pdf - Pre-print

Download (753kB) | Preview


From a cognitive perspective, attentional biases are deemed as factors responsible in the onset and development of gambling disorder. However, knowledge relating to attentional processes in gambling is scarce and studies to date have reported contrasting results. Moreover, no study has ever examined which component and what type of bias are involved in attentional polarization in gambling.
In the present study, 108 Italian participants, equally divided into problem and non-problem gamblers were administered a modified Posner Task, an attentional paradigm in which – through the manipulation of stimuli presentation time – it is possible to measure both initial orienting and maintenance of attention. In addition to the experimental task, participants completed self-report measures involving (i) craving (Gambling Craving Scale), (ii) depression, anxiety and stress (Depression Anxiety Stress Scale) and (iii) emotional dysregulation (Difficulties in Emotion Regulation Scale).
Analyses revealed facilitation in detecting gambling-related stimuli at the encoding level in problem gamblers but not in non-problem gamblers. Compared to non-problem gamblers, problem gamblers also reported higher levels of craving, emotional dysregulation, and negative mood states. Furthermore, all measures correlated with the gambling severity.
The use of indirect measure of attentional bias could be less accurate compared to direct measures.
The facilitation in detecting gambling-related stimuli in problem gamblers and the correlation between subjective craving and facilitation bias suggests that attentional polarization could not be due to a conditioning process but that motivational factors such as craving could induce addicted-related seeking-behaviors.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Affective Disorders
Creators: Ciccarelli, M., Nigro, G., Griffiths, M.D., Cosenza, M. and D’Olimpio, F.
Publisher: Elsevier
Date: 1 July 2016
Volume: 198
ISSN: 0165-0327
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 05 Apr 2016 15:20
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2017 14:42

Actions (login required)

Edit View Edit View


Views per month over past year


Downloads per month over past year