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Myths about “The myths about work addiction”

Commentary on: Ten myths about work addiction (Griffiths et al., 2018)

Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors: Cecilie Schou Andreassen, Wilmar B. Schaufeli and Ståle Pallesen

The present paper encompasses a response to the debate paper by Griffiths et al. about work addiction myths. Generally, we found weak empirical basis for the statement that there exist major myths and controversies regarding work addiction. Although we agree with Griffiths et al. on several issues, we argue that: (a) although work addiction is not a new behavioral addiction, work addiction research is still in its infancy; (b) work addiction is largely similar to other behavioral addictions; (c) work addiction and workaholism are actually the same; and (d) there is no compelling evidence that work addiction occurs before adulthood.

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Background and aims

“Study addiction” has recently been conceptualized as a behavioral addiction and defined within the framework of work addiction. Using a newly developed measure to assess this construct, the Bergen Study Addiction Scale (BStAS), the present study examined the 1-year stability of study addiction and factors related to changes in this construct over time, and is the first longitudinal investigation of study addiction thus far.

Methods

The BStAS and the Ten Item Personality Inventory were administered online together with questions concerning demographics and study-related variables in two waves. In Wave 1, a total of 2,559 students in Norway and 2,177 students in Poland participated. A year later, in Wave 2, 1,133 Norwegians and 794 Polish, who were still students completed the survey.

Results

The test–retest reliability coefficients for the BStAS revealed that the scores were relatively stable over time. In Norway, scores on the BStAS were higher in Wave 2 than in Wave 1, whereas in Poland, the reverse pattern was observed. Learning time outside classes at Wave 1 was positively related to escalation of study addiction symptoms over time in both samples. Being female and scoring higher on neuroticism was related to an increase in study addiction in the Norwegian sample only.

Conclusions

Study addiction appears to be temporally stable, and the amount of learning time spent outside classes predicts changes in study addiction 1 year later.

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Aims

Recent empirical studies investigating “study addiction” have conceptualized it as a behavioral addiction, defined within the framework of work addiction. This study is the first attempt to examine the longitudinal relationship between study addiction and work addiction.

Methods

The Bergen Study Addiction Scale (BStAS), the Bergen Work Addiction Scale (BWAS), and the Ten-Item Personality Inventory were administered online together with questions concerning demographics and study-related variables in two waves. In Wave 1, a total of 2,559 students in Norway and 2,177 students in Poland participated. A year later, in Wave 2, 379 Norwegians and 401 Polish who began to work professionally completed the survey.

Results

The intraclass correlation between BStAS and BWAS revealed that the scores were somewhat related; however, the relationship was slightly weaker than the temporal stability of both constructs. In the Norwegian sample, scoring higher on neuroticism and lower on learning time outside educational classes in Wave 1 was positively related to work addiction in Wave 2, whereas gender was unrelated to work addiction in Wave 2 when controlling for other studied variables in either samples.

Conclusion

Study addiction and work addiction appear to be closely related suggesting that the former may be a precursor for (or an early form of) the latter.

Open access

Not good enough? Further comments to the wording, meaning, and the conceptualization of Internet Gaming Disorder

Commentary on: Chaos and confusion in DSM-5 diagnosis of Internet Gaming Disorder: Issues, concerns, and recommendations for clarity in the field (Kuss et al.)

Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors: Elfrid Krossbakken, Ståle Pallesen, Helge Molde, Rune Aune Mentzoni and Turi Reiten Finserås

In their commentary, Kuss, Griffiths, and Pontes (2016) criticize the use of the term “Internet” in the recently proposed diagnosis for Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) and its use as one of the included diagnostic criteria. We agree with the exclusion of the term “Internet” in the diagnosis, but have some considerations to the comments regarding the nine criteria for IGD. Specifically, we discuss the meaning, the wording, and the importance of the criteria, as well as the importance of distress or functional impairment in the proposed diagnosis. We also address the possibility of categorizing IGD as a subtype of a general behavioral addiction diagnosis.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors: Rune A. Mentzoni, Jon Christian Laberg, Geir Scott Brunborg, Helge Molde and Ståle Pallesen

Abstract

Background and aims

Electronic gaming machines (EGM) may be a particularly addictive form of gambling, and gambling speed is believed to contribute to the addictive potential of such machines. The aim of the current study was to generate more knowledge concerning speed as a structural characteristic in gambling, by comparing the effects of three different bet-to-outcome intervals (BOI) on gamblers bet-sizes, game evaluations and illusion of control during gambling on a computer simulated slot machine. Furthermore, we investigated whether problem gambling moderates effects of BOI on gambling behavior and cognitions.

Methods

62 participants played a computerized slot machine with either fast (400 ms), medium (1700 ms) or slow (3000 ms) BOI. SOGS-R was used to measure pre-existing gambling problems. Mean bet size, game evaluations and illusion of control comprised the dependent variables.

Results

Gambling speed had no overall effect on either mean bet size, game evaluations or illusion of control, but in the 400 ms condition, at-risk gamblers (SOGS-R score > 0) employed higher bet sizes compared to no-risk (SOGS-R score = 0) gamblers.

Conclusions

The findings corroborate and elaborate on previous studies and indicate that restrictions on gambling speed may serve as a harm reducing effort for at-risk gamblers.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors: Cecilie Schou Andreassen, Mark D. Griffiths, Siri Renate Gjertsen, Elfrid Krossbakken, Siri Kvam and Ståle Pallesen

Abstract

Aims

Although relationships between addiction and personality have previously been explored, no study has ever simultaneously investigated the interrelationships between several behavioral addictions, and related these to the main dimensions of the five-factor model of personality.

Methods

In this study, 218 university students completed questionnaires assessing seven different behavioral addictions (i.e., Facebook addiction, video game addiction, Internet addiction, exercise addiction, mobile phone addiction, compulsive buying, and study addiction) as well as an instrument assessing the main dimensions of the five-factor model of personality.

Results

Of the 21 bivariate intercorrelations between the seven behavioral addictions, all were positive (and nine significantly). The results also showed that (i) Neuroticism was positively associated with Internet addiction, exercise addiction, compulsive buying, and study addiction, (ii) Extroversion was positively associated with Facebook addiction, exercise addiction, mobile phone addiction, and compulsive buying, (iii) Openness to experience was negatively associated with Facebook addiction and mobile phone addiction, (iv) Agreeableness was negatively associated with Internet addiction, exercise addiction, mobile phone addiction, and compulsive buying, and (v) Conscientiousness was negatively associated with Facebook addiction, video game addiction, Internet addiction, and compulsive buying and positively associated with exercise addiction and study addiction.

Conclusions

The positive associations between the seven behavioral addictions suggest one or several underlying pathological factors. Hierarchical multiple regressions showed that personality traits explained between 6% and 17% of the variance in the seven behavioral addictions, suggesting that personality to a varying degree explains scores on measures of addictive behaviors.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors: Rune A. Mentzoni, Jon Christian Laberg, Geir Scott Brunborg, Helge Molde and Ståle Pallesen

Abstract

Background and aims

A long existing notion is that the presence of music might affect gambling behavior. In spite of this, little empirical research on the subject exists. The main aim of the present study was to corroborate and elaborate on the existing findings concerning gambling and music through a laboratory based experiment.

Methods

A nonclinical sample of 101 undergraduate students (72 females, 29 males) played a computerized gambling task in which either a high-tempo or a low-tempo musical soundtrack was present. Persistence in gambling, reaction time and evaluation of the game comprised the outcome variables.

Results

Low-tempo music was associated with increased gambling persistence in terms of overall number of bets placed, whereas high-tempo music was associated with intensified gambling in terms of faster reaction time per placed bet. Type of soundtrack was not associated with game evaluation.

Discussion

Our findings add to the existing knowledge by showing that both low-tempo and high-tempo music can be associated with more risky gambling behavior, the former by increasing gambling persistence and the latter by reducing reaction time for bets placed.

Conclusions

In sum, the existing studies provide compelling evidence that music can affect various aspects of gambling behavior. These findings may have clinical implications by educating gamblers on the effects of structural mechanisms in gambling on behavior.

Open access

Aims

Recent research has suggested that for some individuals, educational studying may become compulsive and excessive and lead to ‘study addiction’. The present study conceptualized and assessed study addiction within the framework of workaholism, defining it as compulsive over-involvement in studying that interferes with functioning in other domains and that is detrimental for individuals and/or their environment.

Methods

The Bergen Study Addiction Scale (BStAS) was tested — reflecting seven core addiction symptoms (salience, mood modification, tolerance, withdrawal, conflict, relapse, and problems) — related to studying. The scale was administered via a cross-sectional survey distributed to Norwegian (n = 218) and Polish (n = 993) students with additional questions concerning demographic variables, study-related variables, health, and personality.

Results

A one-factor solution had acceptable fit with the data in both samples and the scale demonstrated good reliability. Scores on BStAS converged with scores on learning engagement. Study addiction (BStAS) was significantly related to specific aspects of studying (longer learning time, lower academic performance), personality traits (higher neuroticism and conscientiousness, lower extroversion), and negative health-related factors (impaired general health, decreased quality of life and sleep quality, higher perceived stress).

Conclusions

It is concluded that BStAS has good psychometric properties, making it a promising tool in the assessment of study addiction. Study addiction is related in predictable ways to personality and health variables, as predicted from contemporary workaholism theory and research.

Open access

Background and aims

No previous study has investigated changes in attitudes toward gambling from under legal gambling age to legal gambling age. The aim of the present study was therefore to investigate attitudinal changes during this transition and to identify predictors of corresponding attitude change.

Methods

In all 1239 adolescents from a national representative sample participated in two survey waves (Wave 1; 17.5 years; Wave 2; 18.5 years).

Results

From Wave 1 to Wave 2 the sample became more acceptant toward gambling. A regression analysis showed that when controlling for attitudes toward gambling at Wave 1 males developed more acceptant attitudes than females. Neuroticism was inversely related to development of acceptant attitudes toward gambling from Wave 1 to Wave 2, whereas approval of gambling by close others at Wave 1 was positively associated with development of more acceptant attitudes. Continuous or increased participation in gambling was related to development of more acceptant attitudes from Wave 1 to Wave 2.

Conclusions

Attitudes toward gambling became more acceptant when reaching legal gambling age. Male gender, approval of gambling by close others and gambling participation predicted development of positive attitudes toward gambling whereas neuroticism was inversely related to development of positive attitudes toward gambling over time.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors: Dominic Sagoe, Rune Aune Mentzoni, Tony Leino, Helge Molde, Sondre Haga, Mikjel Fredericson Gjernes, Daniel Hanss and Ståle Pallesen

Background and aims

Although alcohol intake and gambling often co-occur in related venues, there is conflicting evidence regarding the effects of alcohol expectancy and intake on gambling behavior. We therefore conducted an experimental investigation of the effects of alcohol expectancy and intake on slot machine gambling behavior.

Methods

Participants were 184 (females = 94) individuals [age range: 18–40 (mean = 21.9) years] randomized to four independent conditions differing in information/expectancy about beverage (told they received either alcohol or placebo) and beverage intake [actually ingesting low (target blood alcohol concentration [BAC] < 0.40 mg/L) vs. moderate (target BAC > 0.40 mg/L; ≈0.80 mg/L) amounts of alcohol]. All participants completed self-report questionnaires assessing demographic variables, subjective intoxication, alcohol effects (stimulant and sedative), and gambling factors (behavior and problems, evaluation, and beliefs). Participants also gambled on a simulated slot machine.

Results

A significant main effect of beverage intake on subjective intoxication and alcohol effects was detected as expected. No significant main or interaction effects were detected for number of gambling sessions, bet size and variation, remaining credits at termination, reaction time, and game evaluation.

Conclusion

Alcohol expectancy and intake do not affect gambling persistence, dissipation of funds, reaction time, or gambling enjoyment.

Open access