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?

Are You Made Of The Write Stuff?

Many people that know me would probably describe me as a ‘write-aholic’ based on the number of articles and papers that I have had published. When it comes to addictions in academia, ‘writing addiction’ is just about the best one you can have. Here are my tips to turn you into a productive (and excessive) writer

Net Losses

A number of market research reports have indicated that many office employees spend at least one hour of their day at work on various non-work activities (e.g., booking holidays, shopping online, posting messages on social networking sites, playing online games, etc.) and costs businesses millions of dollars a year. But what can be done to prevent it?

Big Love

Macrophilia appears to be an increasingly popular sexual paraphilia in which individuals derive sexual arousal from a fascination with giants and/or a sexual fantasy involving giants. But what do we know about it from a psychological perspective?

Study Folly?

One of the more interesting types of Culture Bound Syndromes is Brain Fag Syndrome (BFS). The symptoms are such as to prevent students from carrying on with their work and include various unpleasant head symptoms, memory loss, visual difficulties, inability to concentrate, and inability to write. But is this real and what does the psychological literature say?

In at the Sharp End

Belonophilia refers to the deriving of sexual pleasure and arousal from pins or needles. Although media stories relating to ‘needle fetishes’ appear to be relatively rare, clinical and medical case studies in the academic literature are almost non-existent. So, what do we know psychologically about this apparently rare sexual fetish?

Making Saves

Extreme couponing is an activity that combines shopping skills with couponing in an attempt to save as much money as possible while accumulating the most groceries. Extreme couponers spend hours and hours on the internet or scouring scouring rubbish tips or supermarket car parks looking for coupons. But can it be addictive?

Sexed Text and Writing Wrongs

Erotographomania means different things to different people. For some it is when individuals derive sexual pleasure and arousal from writing love poems or letters. For others it's the drawing obscene pictures and diagrams in lavatories, public urinals or writing obscene anonymous letters to young girls. But what do we really know about it?

Card Drives

A number of years ago, I helped a leading Internet poker company do some research on different types of poker player and developed a typology. The typology was based on a survey of 2000 poker players and produced seven different types of player. But what were they? Find out more by reading this article.

Stars In Their Eyes

Celebriphilia has been defined as “an intense desire to have a romantic relationship with a celebrity” and shares many similarities with celebrity stalking. It is also a completely modern, man-made phenomenon. But what do we know about celebriphilia?

Body Language

Muscle Dysmorphia describes a condition characterised by a misconstrued body image in individuals interpret their body size as both small and weak even though they may look normal or even be highly muscular. But could it be classed as an addiction to body image?

Thirst Responders

Most people have probably heard of ‘binge drinking’ and ‘binge eating’. But what about binge gambling? Binge gambling shares many similarities with other binge behaviours including loss of control, salience, mood modification, conflict, withdrawal symptoms, denial, etc. This blog looks at an interesting case study of binge gambling

Within Reason

There is a belief that some people are destined to become addicted. Typically this is explained in one (or both) of two ways. That some people (i.e., "addicts") have an addictive personality, and that there is a genetic basis for addiction. But where does addiction reside?

Occupational Hazard

To date, few measures of workaholism have been developed. A couple of years ago, I and some of my colleagues developed a new work addiction scale that was actually based on addiction components (called the 'Bergen Work Addiction Scale'). Find out if you are a workaholic using our psychometrically valid scale in this blog.

Men Of Steal

In previous articles I have examined activities like shopping as an addiction. One similar such behavior is shoplifting. This article briefly looks at a new typology of shoplifting and argues that in some cases, shoplifting may even be an addiction.

Sporting Chances

Games of chance (like lotteries) offer no significant edge to serious gamblers and are unlikely to be gambled upon. Serious gamblers gravitate towards types of gambling that provide an appropriate mix of chance and skill. This is one of the reasons why horse-race betting is so popular for gamblers. But what else do we know about the psychology of horse-race betting?

Fertile Imagination

Professor Sammy Lee (one of the UK’s pioneers in IVF egg donation) believes that the urge for childless couples to have children is stronger than the urges addicts feel for their drugs or behaviours of choice and that their pursuit is obsessive. but what evidence is there that 'IVF addiction' exists?

Bump Start

One of the more interesting and somewhat controversial male psychological conditions that have been reported relatively frequently in psychological research literature is Couvade syndrome (sometimes called sympathetic pregnancy) but is not generally recognized as a bona fide medical condition. But what does the psychological literature tell us about this disorder?

Active Rewards

Research appears to indicate that at times of psychological and/or emotional hardship, some habitual exercisers engage in such activity as a form of escape. The reliance on exercise as a means of coping with adversity has the potential become to become addictive. I and some colleagues carried out the first ever national study on exercise addiction - but what did we find?

Life On A Knife Edge

Piquerism is defined as sexual arousal from penetrating another person’s body with sharp objects (such as pins, razors, knives, etc.). Despite high profile cases of piquerism, there has been relatively little published about the behavior. But what do we know about it?

My "Addiction" To Fiction

Why am I – and millions of others worldwide – so fascinated, and – for want of a better word – ‘hooked’ on Hannibal' the Cannibal' Lecter’s fictional exploits? There are dozens of academic papers written from many perspectives including psychology, psychiatry, and criminology. One of the scariest things about Lecter is that he’s the composite of real serial killers.

Digital Detox

Technology is essential to most people’s working lives. However, the potential for technological overload has created a new type of anxiety that has been referred to as ‘techno-stress.’ Techno-stress can arise from many different routes. But what is it and how can we beat it?

Sacred Hearts

Sex and religion have always had a somewhat uneasy relationship. When the two intersect there is often controversy, heated debate, and/or scandal. However, there are small numbers of people who are allegedly sexually aroused by religious artefacts, rituals, and/or behaviour. One such behavior is hierophilia (sexual arousal from religious and sacred objects)

Everything Counts In Large Amounts

There are various ways to conceptualize gambling intensity. Such ways could include parameters involving the time spent gambling, the number of gambles made, and/or the amount of money won or lost while gambling. However, recent research suggests the most robust and stable measure for ‘gambling intensity’ is what is called ‘theoretical loss’. Find out more in this blog.

Hair Gripped

Trichophilia is a sexual paraphilia (sometimes called trichopathophilia, hirsutophilia, and/or hair fetishism) in which individuals derive sexual pleasure and arousal from human hair (most commonly head hair). But what do we know about it from a psychological perspective?

Are Our Screens Saving Us From Crime?

There is lots of evidence that when an activity is so engrossing it has the capacity to stop people engaging in other types of activity. However, could the recent crime drop in the UK be explained by adolescents spending too much time playing video games and social networking?

Contesting Times

One factor that is important in the rise of online gambling is the inter-gambler competition. Obviously there is an overlap between competitiveness and skill but they are certainly not the same. What what role does competitiveness play in gambling and problem gambling?

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