Schizotypal personality (schizotypy) is a cluster of traits in the general population, including alterations in belief formation that may underpin delusional thinking. The psychological processes described by schizotypy could also fuel cognitive distortions in the context of gambling. This study sought to characterize the relationships between schizotypy, gambling-related cognitive distortions, and levels of problem gambling.
Analyses were conducted on three groups, a student sample (n = 104) with minimal self-reported gambling involvement, a crowdsourced sample of regular gamblers (via MTurk; n = 277), and an additional crowdsourced sample with a range of gambling involvement (via MTurk; n = 144). Primary measures included the Schizotypal Personality Questionnaire – Brief (SPQ-B), the Peters et al. Delusions Inventory (PDI-21), the Gambling Related Cognitions Scale (GRCS), and the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI). Luck was measured with either the Belief in Good Luck Scale (BIGLS) or the Beliefs Around Luck Scale (BALS).
Small-to-moderate associations were detected between the components of schizotypy, including delusion proneness, and the gambling-related variables. Schizotypy was associated with the general belief in luck and bad luck, but not beliefs in good luck. A series of partial correlations demonstrated that when the GRCS was controlled for, the relationship between schizotypy and problem gambling was attenuated.
This study demonstrates that schizotypy is a small-to-moderate correlate of erroneous gambling beliefs and PG. These data help characterize clinical comorbidities between the schizotypal spectrum and problem gambling, and point to shared biases relating to belief formation and decision-making under chance.
Some people are preoccupied with their sexual urges and fantasies and lose control over their sexual behaviors, which can cause adverse consequences for their health and well-being. One of the options available for individuals seeking treatment for compulsive sexual behavior disorder (CSBD) is a self-help group based on the twelve-step program. The main purpose of the current study was to examine the direct and indirect (through meaning in life and hope) relationships between involvement in Sexaholics Anonymous (SA) and life satisfaction.
The sample consisted of 80 Polish members of SA (72 men and 8 women) with a mean age of 38.96 years (SD = 10.56). The Sex Addiction Screening Test-Revised, the Meaning of Life Questionnaire, the Herth Hope Index, the Satisfaction with Life Scale, and items adapted from the Alcoholics Anonymous Involvement Scale were used to measure the study variables.
Path analysis showed a direct positive relationship between SA involvement and life satisfaction. Moreover, the relationship between these variables was mediated by the presence of meaning in life and hope. Simultaneously, more severe symptoms of CSBD were related to lower levels of the presence of meaning in life and higher levels of the search for meaning in life, which, in turn, predicted lower levels of life satisfaction.
Discussion and conclusions
The results suggest that finding meaning in life and restoring hope partly underlie the relationship between SA involvement and life satisfaction.
Authors:Anna Maria Werling, Sajiv Kuzhippallil, Sophie Emery, Susanne Walitza, and Renate Drechsler
Problematic use of digital media and problematic use of the internet (PUI) in particular are growing problems in the general population. Moreover, studies have shown links between PUI and symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This meta-analysis investigated whether children and adolescents with ADHD are more often affected by PUI compared to control groups.
Multiple databases (EBSCOhost, Pubmed) were reviewed. Studies were eligible if individuals (aged 6–18 years) were diagnosed with ADHD, assessed on PUI-related measures, and compared to non-clinical or/and clinical controls without a diagnosis of ADHD. Out of 3,859 identified studies, 14 studies assessing 2,488 participants met all inclusion criteria. Four meta-analyses examining time-based and scale-based measures, different informants and non-clinical vs. clinical controls using random-effects models were performed. Funnel plots were used to investigate publication bias.
The analyses revealed significantly more severe PUI in individuals with ADHD compared to controls, both when PUI was assessed via rating scale (scaled-based) and via units for time (time-based measures). Different informants (self- vs. parent-rating) had no impact on results. Differences in PUI between groups with ADHD and non-clinical controls were significant, whereas differences between ADHD and clinical controls were not. Due to the high heterogeneity observed and the small sample sizes, these latter findings should be interpreted cautiously.
Children and adolescents with ADHD show more severe PUI compared to non-clinical controls without ADHD. However, the small number of studies does not allow for a systematic comparison between ADHD and groups with other psychopathologies.
Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) provide digital learning opportunities for students around the world. To reach students, MOOCs must advertise themselves to encourage enrollment. While previous studies have explored the content of MOOC descriptions, an investigation into the rhetorical functions of these descriptions has yet to be carried out. In order to discover more about the features of MOOC descriptions which influence their potential students, this paper details the design and piloting of an interview protocol which can be used to collect data regarding the persuasive impact that MOOC descriptions have on those who read them. Samples of data collected using the instrument are presented to examine the validity of the results, and a reflection is provided which discusses the application of the instrument in future research.
Authors:Corinna Gartner, Andreas Bickl, Sabine Härtl, Johanna K. Loy, and Laura Häffner
Background and aim
A wide range of studies indicates that men and women with Problem (PrG) and Pathological Gambling (PG) differ in several clinical and sociodemographic characteristics. However, evidence for sex differences, such as the telescoping effect, is contradictory, and it is still unclear whether sex differences observed in offline gambling can also be found for online gambling. Furthermore, reviews have so far focused on binary sex differences but neglect gender aspects. In this study, an updated literature survey of sex- and gender-related differences in PrG and PG was conducted.
We searched PsyInfo, Medline/Pubmed, and the Web of Science databases from 2005 to 2020 for studies investigating sex and gender differences in gambling. A total of 126 papers were included in the literature survey.
We are presenting our findings according to the categories ‘prevalence’ (offline, online, LGBTQI*), ‘sociodemographic factors’, ‘preferred gambling type’, ‘gambling motives’, ‘severity’, ‘progression of gambling problems’, ‘use of professional help/motivation for treatment’, ‘comorbidity’, ‘trauma’, ‘violence and criminality/delinquency’. The studies indicate that, despite some robust sex differences (e.g., concerning prevalence rates), results for most areas were mixed or suggest no sex differences (e.g., violence, gambling motives).
Discussion and conclusion
To date, there is a lack of studies assessing gender, and not only sex, warranting further research in this area.
Authors:Manuel Alcaraz-Ibáñez, Adrian Paterna, Álvaro Sicilia, and Mark D. Griffiths
Background and aims
Problematic exercise (PE) has mainly been assessed with self-report instruments. However, summarized evidence on the reliability of the scores derived from such instruments has yet to be provided. The present study reports a reliability generalization meta-analysis of six well-known self-report measures of PE (Commitment to Exercise Scale, Compulsive Exercise Test, Exercise Addiction Inventory, Exercise Dependence Questionnaire, Exercise Dependence Scale, and Obligatory Exercise Questionnaire).
Pooled effect sizes were computed using a random-effect model employing a restricted maximum likelihood estimation method. Univariable and multivariable meta-regressions analyses were employed for testing moderator variables.
Data retrieved from 255 studies (741 independent samples, N = 254,174) identified three main groups of findings: (i) pooled alpha values that, ranging from 0.768 to 0.930 for global scores and from 0.615 to 0.907 for subscale scores, were found to be sensitive to sociodemographic and methodological characteristics; (ii) reliability induction rates of 47.58%; and (iii) the virtually non-existent testing of the assumptions required for the proper applicability of alpha. Data unavailability prevented the provision of summarized reliability estimates in terms of temporal stability.
These findings highlight the need to improve reliability reporting of the scores of self-reported instruments of PE in primary studies. This implies providing both prior justification for the appropriateness of the index employed and reliability data for all the subpopulation of interest. The values presented could be used as a reference both for comparisons with those obtained in future primary studies and for correcting measurement-related artefacts in quantitative meta-analytic research concerning PE.
Authors:Maria Picó-Pérez, Víctor Costumero, Juan Verdejo-Román, Natalia Albein-Urios, José Miguel Martínez-González, Carles Soriano-Mas, Alfonso Barrós-Loscertales, and Antonio Verdejo-Garcia
Cocaine use disorder (CUD) and gambling disorder (GD) share clinical features and neural alterations, including emotion regulation deficits and dysfunctional activation in related networks. However, they also exhibit differential aspects, such as the neuroadaptive effects of long-term drug consumption in CUD as compared to GD. Neuroimaging research aimed at disentangling their shared and specific alterations can contribute to improve understanding of both disorders.
We compared CUD (N = 15), GD (N = 16) and healthy comparison (HC; N = 17) groups using a network-based approach for studying temporally coherent functional networks during functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) of an emotion regulation task. We focused our analysis in limbic, ventral frontostriatal, dorsal attentional (DAN) and executive networks (FPN), given their involvement in emotion regulation and their alteration in CUD and GD. Correlations with measures of emotional experience and impulsivity (UPPS-P) were also performed.
The limbic network was significantly decreased during emotional processing both for CUD and GD individuals compared to the HC group. Furthermore, GD participants compared to HC showed an increased activation in the ventral frontostriatal network during emotion regulation. Finally, networks' activation patterns were modulated by impulsivity traits.
Functional network analyses revealed both overlapping and unique effects of stimulant and gambling addictions on neural networks underpinning emotion regulation.
Authors:Judit T. Kárász, Olivér Nagybányai Nagy, Krisztián Széll, and Szabolcs Takács
Háttér és célkitűzések
Tanulmányunkban arra vállalkozunk, hogy egy olyan eljárást mutassunk be, melynek segítségével megalapozottabban használható az eddig is széles körben alkalmazott Cronbach-alfa mutató.
Elemzésünkben egy olyan, egyszerűen elkészíthető szimulációs eljárás alkalmazását javasoljuk, melynek segítségével az adatainkhoz igazodva egy, az adott helyzetben elvárt együttes konzisztenciaszint (át-lagos korrelációs szint) eléréséhez szükséges Cronbach-alfa viszonyítási pontot adhatunk.
Elemzésünk ugyanis rámutat arra, hogy nemcsak a kérdőívben használt itemek számától, hanem a kérdőívben alkalmazott Likert-skála értékeinek számától is függővé kellene tenni a Cronbach-alfa mutató viszonyítási pontját. Szintén eredménye az elemzésünknek, hogy az alkalmazott formulával nem a hagyományosan meghatározott 0,7-es értéket kapjuk, hanem mind a Likert-skálától, mind pedig az itemek számától, illetve az elvárt, itemek közötti kapcsolati erősségtől függővé lehet tenni az elvárt Cronbach-alfa értéket.
A javasolt algoritmus segítségével a Cronbach-alfa mutatónak egy olyan alkalmazását lehet megvalósítani, mely alkalmas arra, hogy a kérdőívünkhöz (a válaszadási Likert-skálához) igazodva, illetve a skála itemszáma alapján referenciapontot adhassunk e megbízhatósági mutatóhoz.
Background and purpose
In our study, we undertake to present a procedure that allows a more well-founded use of the Cronbach’s alpha index, which has been widely used so far.
In our analysis, we propose the use of a simple simulation procedure, which can be used in a given situation to provide a Cronbach’s alpha reference point to achieve the expected overall consistency level (average correlation level).
This is because our analysis points out that the Cronbach’s alpha index should be made dependent not only on the number of items, but also on the number of Likert scale values used in the questionnaire. It is also the result of our analysis that the applied formula does not give the traditionally determined value of 0.7, but the expected Cronbach’s alpha value dependent on both the Likert scale and the number of items, as well as the expected relationship strength between items.
With the help of the proposed algorithm, an application of the Cronbach’s alpha index can be implemented, which is suitable to add a reference point to this reliability index based on our questionnaire (the answer Likert scale) and the number of items on the scale.