Cognitive bias distortions
Cognitive bias distortions in pathological gamblers
Franca Tani1, Lucia Ponti1, Annalisa Ilari1, Alessio Gori1, Massimo Morisi2
1 Department of Health Sciences- Psychology and Psychiatry Unit- University of Florence (Italy)
2 Department of Political and Social Sciences, University of Florence (Italy)
Introduction. Several factors are related to the onset and the maintenance of pathological gambling. An important role is carried out by cognitive bias distortions, which represent real “errors” in the reasoning processes. The aim of this study is to analyze these cognitive errors in two groups of gamblers.
Method. A total of 323 gamblers (131 males and 192 females), of average age of 25.31 (SD = 10.55) were recruited in some gambling rooms and at the University of Florence. All participants completed the Italian version (Capitanucci & Carlevaro, 2004) of the South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS; Lesieur & Blume, 1987) and were divided in two groups on the bases of their questionnaire score: a clinical sample composed of 62 pathological gamblers (SOGS score above 5); and a non clinical sample composed of 261 non problematic gambles (SOGS score below 3). All participants completed the Italian version (Iliceto & Fino, 2014) of the Gambling Related Cognitions Scale (GRCS; Raylu & Oei, 2004), which assesses 5 dimensions related to cognitive distortions: Illusion of control, Predictive control, Interpretative bias, Gambling expectancies, and Perceived inability to stop/control gambling.
Results. Our findings support the results of previous investigations on cognitive biases gambling related (Joukhador et al., 2003; Xian et al., 2008). Specifically, pathological gamblers showed higher levels in all cognitive bias distortions considered, than non-problematic gamblers did.