Attentional bias in excessive Internet gamers: Experimental investigations using an addiction Stroop and a visual probe

Jeromin, Franziska and Nyenhuis, Nele and Barke, Antonia (2016) Attentional bias in excessive Internet gamers: Experimental investigations using an addiction Stroop and a visual probe. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 5 (1). pp. 32-40. ISSN 2062-5871


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Background and aims Internet Gaming Disorder is included in the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5<sup>th</sup> edition) as a disorder that merits further research. The diagnostic criteria are based on those for Substance Use Disorder and Gambling Disorder. Excessive gamblers and persons with Substance Use Disorder show attentional biases towards stimuli related to their addictions. We investigated whether excessive Internet gamers show a similar attentional bias, by using two established experimental paradigms. Methods We measured reaction times of excessive Internet gamers and non-gamers (N = 51, 23.7 ± 2.7 years) by using an addiction Stroop with computer-related and neutral words, as well as a visual probe with computer-related and neutral pictures. Mixed design analyses of variance with the between-subjects factor group (gamer/non-gamer) and the within-subjects factor stimulus type (computer-related/neutral) were calculated for the reaction times as well as for valence and familiarity ratings of the stimulus material. Results In the addiction Stroop, an interaction for group × word type was found: Only gamers showed longer reaction times to computer-related words compared to neutral words, thus exhibiting an attentional bias. In the visual probe, no differences in reaction time between computer-related and neutral pictures were found in either group, but the gamers were faster overall. Conclusions An attentional bias towards computer-related stimuli was found in excessive Internet gamers, by using an addiction Stroop but not by using a visual probe. A possible explanation for the discrepancy could lie in the fact that the visual probe may have been too easy for the gamers.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion / filozófia, pszichológia, vallás > BF Psychology / lélektan
Depositing User: László Sallai-Tóth
Date Deposited: 17 Jun 2016 08:48
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2017 23:15

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