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See detailTrait gambling cognitions predict near-miss experiences and persistence in laboratory slot machine gambling.
Billieux, Joël UL; Van der Linden, Martial; Khazaal, Yasser et al

in British Journal of Psychology (2012), 103(3), 412-27

'Near-miss' outcomes (i.e., unsuccessful outcomes close to the jackpot) have been shown to promote gambling persistence. Although there have been recent advances in understanding the neurobiological ... [more ▼]

'Near-miss' outcomes (i.e., unsuccessful outcomes close to the jackpot) have been shown to promote gambling persistence. Although there have been recent advances in understanding the neurobiological responses to gambling near-misses, the psychological mechanisms involved in these events remain unclear. The goal of this study was to explore whether trait-related gambling cognitions (e.g., beliefs that certain skills or rituals may help to win in games of chance) influence behavioural and subjective responses during laboratory gambling. Eighty-four individuals, who gambled at least monthly, performed a simplified slot machine task that delivered win, near-miss, and full-miss outcomes across 30 mandatory trials followed by a persistence phase in extinction. Participants completed the Gambling-Related Cognitions Scale (GRCS; Raylu & Oei, 2004), as well as measures of disordered gambling (South Oaks Gambling Screen [SOGS]; Lesieur & Blume, 1987) and social desirability bias (DS-36; Tournois, Mesnil, & Kop, 2000). Skill-oriented gambling cognitions (illusion of control, fostered by internal factors such as reappraisal of losses, or perceived outcome sequences), but not ritual-oriented gambling cognitions (illusion of control fostered by external factors such as luck or superstitions), predicted higher subjective ratings of desire to play after near-miss outcomes. In contrast, perceived lack of self-control predicted persistence on the slot machine task. These data indicate that the motivational impact of near-miss outcomes is related to specific gambling cognitions pertaining to skill acquisition, supporting the idea that gambling near-misses foster the illusion of control. [less ▲]

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See detailAre stress responses influenced by cognitive appraisal? An experimental comparison of coping strategies.
Steptoe, Andrew; Vögele, Claus UL

in British Journal of Psychology (1986), 77

An investigation of the role of cognitive appraisal in emotional responses was carried out, in which psychological and physiological reactions to a distressing film were recorded in three groups of ... [more ▼]

An investigation of the role of cognitive appraisal in emotional responses was carried out, in which psychological and physiological reactions to a distressing film were recorded in three groups of volunteers. Subjects in the intellectualization condition were given instructions to appraise the film in a detached, analytic fashion. The sensation-focusing group were asked to focus on physical sensations and to experience them fully, and controls were given no specific instructions. Heart rate, skin conductance and respiration rate were monitored continuously, while ratings of psychological distress and physical sensations were collected periodically. No significant differences were found in the subjective or physiological reactions of the intellectualization and control groups, thus failing to replicate previous reports. Sensation focusing led to a diminution of cardiac and electrodermal reactions, but did not affect subjective experience. Limitations to the concept of cognitive appraisal are suggested, while explanations of the results are offered in terms of external vs. internal deployment of attention, and desynchrony of emotional responses. [less ▲]

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