View More View Less
  • 1 University of Calgary, Canada
Open access

Abstract

This thoughtful framework to minimize the harm associated with emerging technologies by encouraging collaborations among stakeholders would benefit from adopting the WHO precautionary principle in order to keep public health issues at the core of discussions. It would also be helpful to acknowledge and make transparent the differences in stakeholder priorities, the power differentials among stakeholders, and the importance of institutional duty of care.

Abstract

This thoughtful framework to minimize the harm associated with emerging technologies by encouraging collaborations among stakeholders would benefit from adopting the WHO precautionary principle in order to keep public health issues at the core of discussions. It would also be helpful to acknowledge and make transparent the differences in stakeholder priorities, the power differentials among stakeholders, and the importance of institutional duty of care.

Swanton, Blaszczynski, Forlini, Starcevic, and Gainsbury (2019) propose a thoughtful framework for minimizing the personal harm that is potentially associated with new technologies. Broadly defined these technologies and behaviors include online gaming, gambling and shopping, online sexual behaviors, and oversharing on social media sites. The framework identifies various stakeholders that need to be involved in identifying and tackling issues as they emerge and discusses principles to encourage fruitful collaboration. I applaud the goal of developing a framework, as it may help minimize the typical lag we find between development of technology and consumer protection policy. I propose, however, that the principles be modified somewhat, based on lessons learned in the gambling field.

The Swanton et al. (2019) paper briefly references the Reno Model, a framework proposed in the 2000s to encourage stakeholder collaboration in the commercial gambling sector (Blaszczynski, Ladouceur, & Shaffer, 2004). Numerous features of the two models (and issues) seem to overlap. Commercial gambling emerged as a growth industry in the 1990s and, as a result, gambling-related harms confronted the diverse stakeholders, including consumers and their families, regulators, industry, and treatment providers. The intent of the Reno model was to promote collaborative and proactive response to harm minimization.

The Reno model was heralded in some circles but also criticized in others (Hancock & Smith, 2017; Livingstone & Adams, 2016; Shaffer, Blaszczynski, & Ladouceur, 2017). In particular, two aspects have caused concern that are relevant to the Swanton framework. First, it is argued that the Reno model overemphasizes individual responsibility and underemphasizes industry responsibility in preventing harm as well as broader social and political determinants. According to the model, responsible gambling is ultimately seen as the responsibility of the individual (the end-user), albeit influenced by other factors, including some controlled by the gambling industry. The same philosophy permeates the Swanton paper. In fact, the authors acknowledge that they have an implicit Western bias that individuals are largely responsible for their actions.

The claim that ultimate responsibility rests with the individual is overly simplistic and does not recognize the reality of how people make decisions about their behavior. Some decisions are limited by the options available to consumers. The seatbelt analogy is often used in the gambling area. Each driver decides whether or not to buckle their seatbelt while driving an automobile. However, such a decision is dependent on seatbelts being available, which is a regulated obligation of the manufacturer. We are able to drive our cars without using the seatbelt, but we are strongly nudged toward buckling up by those persistent reminder buzzers. It would be unpleasant to drive my car without bucking the seatbelt.

The growing literature on choice architect underscores these nuanced influences on “personal informed choice” (Thaler, 2018; Thaler & Sunstein, 2008). We are nudged towards all sorts of decisions, without our full awareness. I am certainly more likely to drop an empty plastic drink bottle in the correct recycling bin, whether I care about recycling or not, if the shape of the opening of the correct bin makes it easier for me than putting it in the bin designed with an opening another object. Personal choice in our behaviors is not absolute. Nudges can also work against public health as well as supporting it. I remember a number of years ago being surprised while traveling by car on the autoroutes to see in some countries that rest stops included well-advertised bars serving alcohol. It seems like the “don't drink and drive” educational message must be undermined by this subtle, implicit permission to do the opposite.

Another complication with holding the end user ultimately responsible is that the information needed to make a fully informed decision may be too complex for most people to incorporate in their decision-making process. For example, the payoff odds in slot machines are not understood by most players even after the players receive educational interventions (Beresford & Blaszczynski, 2020). Only the most simple of messages (e.g., that outcomes are random) are retained and only for a limited time (Wohl, Gainsbury, Stewart, & Sztainert, 2013). Providing clear information about risks is crucial, but this should be done recognizing that it is possibly insufficient to ensure true informed decision-making.

The decreasing prevalence of tobacco use since the 1970s in some western countries illustrates this point. This reduction has not come solely through informed consumer initiatives focusing on educating individuals that tobacco use is unhealthy – the change came about from incremental changes in advertising, marketing, and taxation. In short, regulation of industry via government policy is primarily responsible for reduction in tobacco use.

One additional limitation of the personal choice perspective that is more clearly acknowledged in the Swanton paper is that there are individual differences in the ability to make informed decisions. People with certain characteristics or in certain situations (e.g., mental health issues, lower intelligence) are less equipped for informed decision-making. For potentially addictive activities and substance, personal choice is even more compromised by the emergence of impairment of control in some exposed individuals. By definition, impairment of control involves less than perfect decision-making. Alcohol, other psychoactive drugs, and gambling are described as “no ordinary commodities” for this specific reason (Babor et al., 2010) and involvements related to new technologies are likely similar. People can make decisions about their consumption, but doesn't the responsibility of other stakeholders become even more pivotal?

The second criticism of the Reno model is its failure to account for power differentials among stakeholders and differences in their primary values. Whereas protection of its citizens from harm is presumably the foremost value of government, industry is beholden to shareholder interests. This not to say that governments do not also desire to maximize tax revenues and that industry does not also hold social responsibility ideals of player protection. However, these differences in values complicate stakeholder collaboration, and need to be acknowledged and made transparent in the details of collaborative efforts. It would be helpful if the proposed framework helped stakeholders identify and address incompatibility in values, and power differentials. Oddly, the Swanton paper does the opposite-in stating that the individual consumer has ultimate choice, the authors are suggesting that the arguably least powerful stakeholder holds the most power.

Consumers should, of course, be recognized as an essential stakeholders and collaborators. We are making headway in including people with lived experience as co-designers of research and policy. Nonetheless, no one would claim that parity has been achieved. The Swanton contribution would benefit from discussion of these challenges and incorporation in their framework of the importance and process for transparent handling of them.

The framework's stated goal is to balance “individual civil liberties with societal responsibilities, and institutional duty of care”. I contend that the framework would be stronger if institutional duty of care is privileged, while individual liberties are respected. The World Health Organization, in its mandate to protect public health, adopts the precautionary principle. The precautionary principle, described by the UNESCO World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology, indicates that when it is scientifically plausible but uncertain that human activities might lead to morally unacceptable harm, actions shall be taken to avoid or diminish that harm (World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology, 2005). In other words, pre-damage control is preferred over post-damage control. Better safe than sorry, as my mother always warned me. This approach is relevant to the new technologies covered in Swanton's framework, where we are only beginning to understand the potential harms, although they are more than hypothetical. The need for a framework, however, acknowledges that real and credible concern about harms exist.

In short, a framework that identifies the various stakeholders and their differing and sometimes incompatible perspectives is an important step forward. Modifying the framework to acknowledge these differences, the power differentials among stakeholders, and the importance of institutional duty of care, as well as adopting the precautionary principle would be helpful in keeping public health issues at the core of discussions.

Acknowledgments

Prof. Hodgins receives partial salary support from the Alberta Gambling Research Institute.

References

  • Babor, T., Caetano, R., Casswell, S., Edwards G, N. G. K. G., Rossow, I. (2010). Alcohol, no ordinary commodity: Research and public policy. New York: Oxford University Press.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Beresford, K., & Blaszczynski, A. (2020). Return-to-Player percentage in gaming machines: Impact of informative materials on player understanding. Journal of Gambling Studies, 36(1), 5167. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-019-09854-z.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Blaszczynski, A., Ladouceur, R., & Shaffer, H. J. (2004). A science-based framework for responsible gambling: The Reno model. Journal of Gambling Studies, 20(3), 301317. https://doi.org/10.1023/B:JOGS.0000040281.49444.e2.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hancock, L., & Smith, G. (2017). Critiquing the Reno Model I-IV international influence on regulators and governments (2004–2015)—the distorted reality of “Responsible Gambling”. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 15(6), 11511176. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-017-9746-y.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Livingstone, C., & Adams, P. J. (2016). Response to commentaries-clear principles for gambling research. Addiction, 111(1), 1617. https://doi.org/10.1111/add.13225.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Shaffer, H. J., Blaszczynski, A., & Ladouceur, R. (2017). Truth, alternative facts, narrative, and science: What is happening to responsible gambling and gambling disorder? International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 15(6), 11971202. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-017-9779-2.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Swanton, T. B., Blaszczynski, A., Forlini, C., Starcevic, V., & Gainsbury, S. M. (2019). Problematic risk-taking involving emerging technologies: A stakeholder framework to minimize harms. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 17. https://doi.org/10.1556/2006.8.2019.52.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Thaler, R. H. (2018). Nudge, not sludge. Science, 361(6401), 431. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aau9241.

  • Thaler, R. H., & Sunstein, C. R. (2008). Nudge: Improving decisions about health, wealth, and happiness. New Haven: Yale University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wohl, M. J., Gainsbury, S., Stewart, M. J., & Sztainert, T. (2013). Facilitating responsible gambling: The relative effectiveness of education-based animation and monetary limit setting pop-up messages among electronic gaming machine players. Journal of Gambling Studies, 29(4), 703717. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-012-9340-y.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology. (2005). The precautionary principle (UNESCO Ed.). France: UNESCO.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Babor, T., Caetano, R., Casswell, S., Edwards G, N. G. K. G., Rossow, I. (2010). Alcohol, no ordinary commodity: Research and public policy. New York: Oxford University Press.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Beresford, K., & Blaszczynski, A. (2020). Return-to-Player percentage in gaming machines: Impact of informative materials on player understanding. Journal of Gambling Studies, 36(1), 5167. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-019-09854-z.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Blaszczynski, A., Ladouceur, R., & Shaffer, H. J. (2004). A science-based framework for responsible gambling: The Reno model. Journal of Gambling Studies, 20(3), 301317. https://doi.org/10.1023/B:JOGS.0000040281.49444.e2.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Hancock, L., & Smith, G. (2017). Critiquing the Reno Model I-IV international influence on regulators and governments (2004–2015)—the distorted reality of “Responsible Gambling”. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 15(6), 11511176. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-017-9746-y.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Livingstone, C., & Adams, P. J. (2016). Response to commentaries-clear principles for gambling research. Addiction, 111(1), 1617. https://doi.org/10.1111/add.13225.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Shaffer, H. J., Blaszczynski, A., & Ladouceur, R. (2017). Truth, alternative facts, narrative, and science: What is happening to responsible gambling and gambling disorder? International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 15(6), 11971202. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11469-017-9779-2.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Swanton, T. B., Blaszczynski, A., Forlini, C., Starcevic, V., & Gainsbury, S. M. (2019). Problematic risk-taking involving emerging technologies: A stakeholder framework to minimize harms. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 17. https://doi.org/10.1556/2006.8.2019.52.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Thaler, R. H. (2018). Nudge, not sludge. Science, 361(6401), 431. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aau9241.

  • Thaler, R. H., & Sunstein, C. R. (2008). Nudge: Improving decisions about health, wealth, and happiness. New Haven: Yale University Press.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • Wohl, M. J., Gainsbury, S., Stewart, M. J., & Sztainert, T. (2013). Facilitating responsible gambling: The relative effectiveness of education-based animation and monetary limit setting pop-up messages among electronic gaming machine players. Journal of Gambling Studies, 29(4), 703717. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10899-012-9340-y.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology. (2005). The precautionary principle (UNESCO Ed.). France: UNESCO.

    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
The author instruction is available in PDF.
Please, download the file from HERE

Dr. Zsolt Demetrovics
Institute of Psychology, ELTE Eötvös Loránd University
Address: Izabella u. 46. H-1064 Budapest, Hungary
Phone: +36-1-461-2681
E-mail: jba@ppk.elte.hu

Indexing and Abstracting Services:

  • Web of Science [Science Citation Index Expanded (also known as SciSearch®)
  • Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition
  • Social Sciences Citation Index®
  • Journal Citation Reports/ Social Sciences Edition
  • Current Contents®/Social and Behavioral Sciences
  • EBSCO
  • GoogleScholar
  • PsychInfo
  • PubMed Central
  • SCOPUS
  • Medline
  • CABI
2020  
Total Cites 4024
WoS
Journal
Impact Factor
6,756
Rank by Psychiatry (SSCI) 12/143 (Q1)
Impact Factor Psychiatry 19/156 (Q1)
Impact Factor 6,052
without
Journal Self Cites
5 Year 8,735
Impact Factor
Journal  1,48
Citation Indicator  
Rank by Journal  Psychiatry 24/250 (Q1)
Citation Indicator   
Citable 86
Items
Total 74
Articles
Total 12
Reviews
Scimago 47
H-index
Scimago 2,265
Journal Rank
Scimago Clinical Psychology Q1
Quartile Score Psychiatry and Mental Health Q1
  Medicine (miscellaneous) Q1
Scopus 3593/367=9,8
Scite Score  
Scopus Clinical Psychology 7/283 (Q1)
Scite Score Rank Psychiatry and Mental Health 22/502 (Q1)
Scopus 2,026
SNIP  
Days from  38
sumbission  
to 1st decision  
Days from  37
acceptance  
to publication  
Acceptance 31%
Rate  

2019  
Total Cites
WoS
2 184
Impact Factor 5,143
Impact Factor
without
Journal Self Cites
4,346
5 Year
Impact Factor
5,758
Immediacy
Index
0,587
Citable
Items
75
Total
Articles
67
Total
Reviews
8
Cited
Half-Life
3,3
Citing
Half-Life
6,8
Eigenfactor
Score
0,00597
Article Influence
Score
1,447
% Articles
in
Citable Items
89,33
Normalized
Eigenfactor
0,7294
Average
IF
Percentile
87,923
Scimago
H-index
37
Scimago
Journal Rank
1,767
Scopus
Scite Score
2540/376=6,8
Scopus
Scite Score Rank
Cllinical Psychology 16/275 (Q1)
Medicine (miscellenous) 31/219 (Q1)
Psychiatry and Mental Health 47/506 (Q1)
Scopus
SNIP
1,441
Acceptance
Rate
32%

 

Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Publication Model Gold Open Access
Submission Fee none
Article Processing Charge 850 EUR/article
Printed Color Illustrations 40 EUR (or 10 000 HUF) + VAT / piece
Regional discounts on country of the funding agency World Bank Lower-middle-income economies: 50%
World Bank Low-income economies: 100%
Further Discounts Editorial Board / Advisory Board members: 50%
Corresponding authors, affiliated to an EISZ member institution subscribing to the journal package of Akadémiai Kiadó: 100%
Subscription Information Gold Open Access
Purchase per Title  

Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Language English
Size A4
Year of
Foundation
2011
Publication
Programme
2021 Volume 10
Volumes
per Year
1
Issues
per Year
4
Founder Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem
Founder's
Address
H-1053 Budapest, Hungary Egyetem tér 1-3.
Publisher Akadémiai Kiadó
Publisher's
Address
H-1117 Budapest, Hungary 1516 Budapest, PO Box 245.
Responsible
Publisher
Chief Executive Officer, Akadémiai Kiadó
ISSN 2062-5871 (Print)
ISSN 2063-5303 (Online)

Senior editors

Editor(s)-in-Chief: Zsolt DEMETROVICS

Assistant Editor(s): Csilla ÁGOSTON

Associate Editors

  • Judit BALÁZS (ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary)
  • Joel BILLIEUX (University of Lausanne, Switzerland)
  • Matthias BRAND (University of Duisburg-Essen, Germany)
  • Anneke GOUDRIAAN (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
  • Daniel KING (Flinders University, Australia)
  • Ludwig KRAUS (IFT Institute for Therapy Research, Germany)
  • H. N. Alexander LOGEMANN (ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary)
  • Anikó MARÁZ (Humboldt University of Berlin, Germany)
  • Astrid MÜLLER (Hannover Medical School, Germany)
  • Marc N. POTENZA (Yale University, USA)
  • Hans-Jurgen RUMPF (University of Lübeck, Germany)
  • Attila SZABÓ (ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary)
  • Róbert URBÁN (ELTE Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary)
  • Aviv M. WEINSTEIN (Ariel University, Israel)

Editorial Board

  • Max W. ABBOTT (Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand)
  • Elias N. ABOUJAOUDE (Stanford University School of Medicine, USA)
  • Hojjat ADELI (Ohio State University, USA)
  • Alex BALDACCHINO (University of Dundee, United Kingdom)
  • Alex BLASZCZYNSKI (University of Sidney, Australia)
  • Kenneth BLUM (University of Florida, USA)
  • Henrietta BOWDEN-JONES (Imperial College, United Kingdom)
  • Beáta BÖTHE (University of Montreal, Canada)
  • Wim VAN DEN BRINK (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
  • Gerhard BÜHRINGER (Technische Universität Dresden, Germany)
  • Sam-Wook CHOI (Eulji University, Republic of Korea)
  • Damiaan DENYS (University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands)
  • Jeffrey L. DEREVENSKY (McGill University, Canada)
  • Naomi FINEBERG (University of Hertfordshire, United Kingdom)
  • Marie GRALL-BRONNEC (University Hospital of Nantes, France)
  • Jon E. GRANT (University of Minnesota, USA)
  • Mark GRIFFITHS (Nottingham Trent University, United Kingdom)
  • Heather HAUSENBLAS (Jacksonville University, USA)
  • Tobias HAYER (University of Bremen, Germany)
  • Susumu HIGUCHI (National Hospital Organization Kurihama Medical and Addiction Center, Japan)
  • David HODGINS (University of Calgary, Canada)
  • Eric HOLLANDER (Albert Einstein College of Medicine, USA)
  • Jaeseung JEONG (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Republic of Korea)
  • Yasser KHAZAAL (Geneva University Hospital, Switzerland)
  • Orsolya KIRÁLY (Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary)
  • Emmanuel KUNTSCHE (La Trobe University, Australia)
  • Hae Kook LEE (The Catholic University of Korea, Republic of Korea)
  • Michel LEJOXEUX (Paris University, France)
  • Anikó MARÁZ (Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary)
  • Giovanni MARTINOTTI (‘Gabriele d’Annunzio’ University of Chieti-Pescara, Italy)
  • Frederick GERARD MOELLER (University of Texas, USA)
  • Daniel Thor OLASON (University of Iceland, Iceland)
  • Nancy PETRY (University of Connecticut, USA)
  • Bettina PIKÓ (University of Szeged, Hungary)
  • Afarin RAHIMI-MOVAGHAR (Teheran University of Medical Sciences, Iran)
  • József RÁCZ (Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary)
  • Rory C. REID (University of California Los Angeles, USA)
  • Marcantanio M. SPADA (London South Bank University, United Kingdom)
  • Daniel SPRITZER (Study Group on Technological Addictions, Brazil)
  • Dan J. STEIN (University of Cape Town, South Africa)
  • Sherry H. STEWART (Dalhousie University, Canada)
  • Attila SZABÓ (Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary)
  • Ferenc TÚRY (Semmelweis University, Hungary)
  • Alfred UHL (Austrian Federal Health Institute, Austria)
  • Johan VANDERLINDEN (University Psychiatric Center K.U.Leuven, Belgium)
  • Alexander E. VOISKOUNSKY (Moscow State University, Russia)
  • Kimberly YOUNG (Center for Internet Addiction, USA)

 

Monthly Content Usage

Abstract Views Full Text Views PDF Downloads
May 2021 0 31 31
Jun 2021 0 47 34
Jul 2021 0 26 14
Aug 2021 0 49 25
Sep 2021 0 33 28
Oct 2021 0 32 14
Nov 2021 0 0 0