Can Playing Pinball Be Addictive?

Does pinball addiction exist? Only one academic paper has ever been published on pinball addiction (a case study) and this blog takes a look at that paper in more detail.

Addiction to Studying

There is little research and no generally accepted definition of study addiction but such behaviour has been conceptualized within research into workaholism.

'Addiction' to Fortune Telling

A recent case study in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions reported the case of a woman ‘addicted’ to fortune tellers. Can such a behaviour really be classed as an addiction?

Can You Be 'Addicted' to Water?

There are various accounts of individuals being aquaholics ("addicted to water). This article examines the literature on psychogenic polydipsia, hyponatraemia, and ‘aquaholism'.

Can Crying Be Sexually Arousing?

There's more to dacryphilia (sexual arousal from crying) than you may think.

Psychology, Monetization, and Video Gaming

Some people appear to become ‘addicted’ to buying virtual assets for gaming. Why do they buy?

Betting To The Beat

The effect of music has been studied extensively in commercial contexts but what does the psychological literature tell us about the effect of music on gambling behaviour?

Psychology And Competitive Gaming

If a player can make a career from video gaming, this raises interesting questions about whether such excessive activity could be a gaming addiction or workaholism.

Shocking Sex Lives

There are many published case reports of autoerotic deaths of people who have died in strange sexual circumstances. This article looks at electrophilia (arousal from electricity).

Loving The Alien

Exophilia refers those individuals who derive sexual arousal from extraterrestrial, robotic, supernatural, or otherwise non-human life forms. These types of sexual preferences could be described as totally impractical as the chances of making love to such entities are arguably negligible. However, some might just be aroused by the fantasy - so does exophilia really exist?

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 from time to time feel guilty about them. But some might actually have benefits for psychological or physical well-being. Here are my top 10

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.

Pages