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?

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

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