Gambling Advertising And Marketing

Over the last few years there has been a great deal of speculation over the role of advertising as a possible stimulus to increased gambling, and as a contributor to problem gambling (including underage gambling). But can gambling advertising and marketing be done in a more socially responsible way?

Can Bargain Hunting Be Addictive?

A growing number of articles in the print media have claimed that bargain hunting can be addictive for a small minority. But what does the scientific literature say and isn't this just another form of 'shopaholism'?

Can Flying Be Addictive?

There are a few papers in the academic literature that have proposed the idea of ‘binge flying’ and ‘flying addiction’. But can constant flying ever be viewed as a genuine addiction?

Why Do We Like Watching Scary Films?

Why do we love to watch scary horror films? Some psychologists claim people go to horror films because they want to be frightened or they wouldn't do it twice. You choose your entertainment because you want it to affect you. But what else does the literature tell us about the psychology of horror movies?

Dhat Syndrome Explained

One of the more unusual 'culture bound sundromes' is dhat syndrome, typically located in the Indian sub-continent (India, Sri Lanka, Bangladash). Dhat syndrome comprises various psychological, somatic and sexual symptoms particularly psychological distress and anxiety related to perceived semen-loss. But what else do we know about it from a psychological perspective?

10 Bad Habits That Sometimes Do Us Good

All of us have bad habits, and all of us from time to time feel guilty about these habits. But there are some bad habits—at least when carried out in moderation—that might actually have benefits for psychological and/or physical wellbeing. Here are my top 10 bad habits that might do you good.

Senile Squalor and Hoarding

Diogenes Syndrome (DS) that is sometimes referred to as ‘senile squalor syndrome’ (as it typically occurs in elderly individuals). Hoarding is often a consequence of having DS, and those with DS often live on their own in severe domestic squalor and unsanitary conditions. But what else is known about this rare syndrome?

'New Syndrome' Syndrome

In the 1980s and early 1990s, there seemed to be a real upsurge is the naming of "new syndromes" in the medical literature including many relating to excessive use of technology and other leisure activities. This article takes a brief look at some of the strange medical side-effects of various excessive behaviors that have made their way into the medical literature.

Hypersexual Disorder Debates

Sex addiction appears to be a highly controversial area. Given that "gambling disorder" was reclassified from a disorder of impulse control to a behavioral addiction in the DSM-V, there is now no theoretical reason why other behavioral addictions can’t be added in years to come. So why wasn’t sex addiction included in the latest DSM-V?

'Stop Checking Your Smartphone!'

Few people would say that their lives are worse because of mobile phones. However, in the scientific literature, excessive mobile phone use has been linked with self-reported dependence and addiction-like symptoms, sleep interference, financial problems, and dangerous use (phoning while driving). But can disordered mobile phone use be considered as an addiction?

Blame It on the Boogie?

Psychological research has shown that dancing can have substantial benefits for physical and mental health such as decreased depression and anxiety, and increased physical and psychological wellbeing. However, there are also a number of studies that have claimed that dancing can possibly be addictive.

Genitally Does It

Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) is a distressing, handicapping, and/or impairing preoccupation with an imagined or slight defect in body appearance. One particular body part that has been the focus of some research in the BDD field is that of genitalia. Many men obsessively worry about the size of their penis. But what does the psychological literature tell us?

Why Do You Gamble?

All surveys of gambling have shown that there are a broad range motivational factors that are central to gambling, and that attitudes towards gambling are positively related to availability and cultural acceptability. But what does the psychological research say about why people gamble?

The Evolution Of Technological Addictions

In October 2014, the world's press reported the story of a man being treated for internet addiction disorder brought on by his excessive use of Google Glass. But can someone really be addicted to a technological device?

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

Over the last few years, Body Dysmorphic Disorder (BDD) has become the focus of increasing media attention. BDD is a distressing, handicapping, and/or impairing preoccupation with an imagined or slight defect in body appearance that the sufferer perceives to be ugly, unattractive, and/or deformed. But what does the psychological literature tell us?

The Cognitive Psychology of Gambling

One of the proudest moments of my academic career was when my 1994 study on the role of cognitive bias in slot machine gambling was introduced as a compulsory study that all psychology college students had to learn about here in the UK. Today's blog looks at that study in retrospective context.

The Psychology Of Live Online Casino Gambling

One of the main reasons I don’t like gambling at Internet casinos is that I believe the majority of game outcome are likely to be pre-programmed and/or predetermined. To me, this is somewhat akin to playing with imaginary dice! But what do we know psychologically about what factors promote and inhibit gambling online?

The Psychology of Box Set Binging

Recent media stories have reported on the alleged negative effects of box-set bingeing (‘Watching TV box-set marathons is warning sign you're lonely and depressed - and will also make you fat’). But what do we know about box-set bingeing psychologically and is it really bad for our health?

Writing Wrongs

Writing a diary is nothing new. A number of psychologists have done studies showing that diary writing is far more than writing for posterity. Some scholars have gone as far as to say that writing down your feelings is psychologically good for you. But what does the psychological literature say?

Top Tips for a Digital Detox

Digital detox refers to refraining from using electronic devices such as smartphones or computers. This article provides some tips on how to cut down on technology use, even if it’s just for the weekend or a holiday.

The Fat Fetish, Explained

One sexual behaviour that appears to be very popular among a minority of men is ‘BBW squashing’ (i.e., men being squashed by one or more ‘big beautiful women’ for sexual pleasure) and also known as ‘crushing’ or ‘smashing’ by squashing enthusiasts. But what do we know psychologically about this strange sexual behaviour?

Marketing Forces

It doesn’t take a psychologist to tell you that the psychology behind ‘comping’ is to get the gambler to spend more money. Comping is a legitimate psychological marketing strategy used as an incentive to either get individuals to gamble in the first place, or an incentive used to prolong gambling. This blog looks a little deeper into the psychology of comping in casinos.

Dressed to Thrill

Clothing fetishes are sexual fetishes where individuals derive sexual arousal and pleasure from either (i) viewing or imagining very specific items of clothing, (ii) viewing or imagining a set of clothes (e.g., a particular uniform or fashion look), and/or (iii) individuals (themselves or others) wearing the clothing item or uniform. But what is known about such behavior?

General 'Killection'

Although the word ‘murderabilia’ is fairly new (an amalgam of ‘murder memorabilia’), the act itself has a long history and basically refers to collectibles that relate to murder, murderers and/or violent crimes (including such items as artwork produced by incarcerated serial killers). But what is the psychological motivation behind such collecting?

Form a Line in the Barbie Queue

Doll fetishism is a type of sexual fetishism where individuals are sexually aroused and attracted to dolls and/or doll-like objects (e.g., figurines). There is also a virtual form of doll fetishism where such fantasies can be acted out online and in virtual worlds via self-created doll avatars. But what else do we know psychologically about the behaviour?

End Of Term Report

Many people confuse the term ‘problem gambling’ with ‘gambling addiction’. These two terms are not inter-changeable. When I give lectures on gambling addiction I always point out that “all gambling addicts are problem gamblers but not all problem gamblers are gambling addicts”. Find out why in my latest article on gambling psychology.

Game On

In January 2015, a 32-year old male gamer was found dead at a Taiwanese Internet café following a non-stop three-day gaming session. I have spent nearly three decades studying video game addiction — but what turns a hobby into a health risk? Find out more in this article on Internet Gaming Disorder.

Episodic Memories

Over the past year I have been interviewed a couple of times about the seeming increase in ‘binge watching’ of DVD box sets of television series. But what is it that makes us sit down and watch a whole television series on one day back-to-back? What is the psychology behind 'box set bingeing?'

Lose the Booze

There is a general rule of thumb that where the opportunities and access to potentially addictive behaviours are increased, more people engage in that behaviour. One such behaviour is the drinking of alcohol. Given the wide accessibility of alcohol, what are the best ways to minimize alcohol intake? Here are some practical tips.

All The Rage

Beserkers is a culture-bound condition historically affecting Norsemen. The condition manifested itself among males only as an intense fury and rage (berserkergang, i.e., “going beserk”) and mostly occurred in battle situations. But what more do we know about it from a psychological perspective?