Advertisement

Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 26, Issue 4, pp 545–559 | Cite as

The Relationship Between Aversive Conditioning and Risk-avoidance in Gambling

  • Geir Scott Brunborg
  • Bjørn Helge Johnsen
  • Ståle Pallesen
  • Helge Molde
  • Rune Aune Mentzoni
  • Helga Myrseth
Original Paper

Abstract

This study investigated the relationship between aversive conditioning, heart rate variability suppression, behavioral activation system/behavioral inhibition system and risk-avoidance on the Iowa gambling task (IGT) in a nonclinical sample (29 male, 29 female, mean age = 20.7). A laboratory based Pavlovian aversive conditioning paradigm was used where a 1500 Hz tone (CS+) was followed by a burst of loud white noise (US), and a 850 Hz (CS−) tone was never followed by the US. In a subsequent extinction phase where the CS+ and CS− were presented without the US, conditioned skin conductance responses to the CS+ indicated aversive conditioning. The results showed that the participants who did not show aversive conditioning (N = 26) exhibited significantly less risk-avoidance compared to participants who did show aversive conditioning (N = 32). Regression analysis showed that among the study variables, only aversive conditioning contributed significantly to explaining variance in risk-avoidance. These results may have implications for understanding risk-taking in gambling in general, and may be a starting point understanding the role of aversive conditioning in the development and maintenance of gambling problems.

Keywords

Gambling Risk Aversive conditioning Heart rate variability Behavioral inhibition Behavioral activation 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The study was funded by The Research Council of Norway. The authors will like to thank Dag Hammerborg for assistance with psychophysiological recording, and Marte Strickert for assistance with the data collection.

References

  1. Agelink, M. W., Boz, C., Ullrich, H., & Andrich, J. (2002). Relationship between major depression and heart rate variability. Clinical consequences and implications for antidepressive treatment. Psychiatry Research, 113, 139–149.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed, text revision ed.). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  3. Anand, P. (1993). Foundations of rational choice under risk. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  4. Anderson, G., & Brown, R. J. F. (1984). Real and laboratory gambling, sensation-seeking and arousal. British Journal of Psychology, 75, 401–410.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Barutcu, I., Esen, A. M., Kaya, D., Turkmen, M., Karakaya, O., Melek, M., et al. (2005). Cigarette smoking and heart rate variability: Dynamic influence of parasympathetic and sympathetic maneuvers. The Annals of Noninvasive Electrocardiology, 10, 324–329.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bechara, A., Damasio, A. R., Damasio, H., & Anderson, S. W. (1994). Insensitivity to future consequences following damage to human prefrontal cortex. Cognition, 50, 7–15.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Berg, E. A. (1948). A simple objective technique for measuring flexibility in thinking. Journal of General Psychology, 39, 15–22.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. BIOPAC Systems Inc. (2007). Biopac Student Lab PRO (Version 3.7.2) [Computer software]. Goleta, CA: Author.Google Scholar
  9. Biosignal Analysis and Medical Imaging Group. (2007). Kubios HRV Analysis (Version 2.0 beta 4) [Computer software]. Kupio: Department of Physics, University of Kuopio.Google Scholar
  10. Blaszczynski, A., & Nower, L. (2002). A pathways model of problem and pathological gambling. Addiction, 97, 487–499.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Brand, M., Recknor, E. C., Grabenhorst, F., & Bechara, A. (2007). Decisions under ambiguity and decisions under risk: Correlations with executive functions and comparisons of two different gambling tasks with implicit and explicit rules. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 29, 86–99.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Carver, C. S., & White, T. L. (1994). Behavioral inhibition, behavioral activation, and affective responses to impending reward and punishment: The BIS/BAS scales. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 67, 319–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Cavedini, P., Riboldi, G., Keller, R., D’Annucci, A., & Bellodi, L. (2002). Frontal lobe dysfunction in pathological gambling patients. Biological Psychiatry, 51, 334–341.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. Clark, A. L., & Watson, D. (1991). Tripartite model of anxiety and depression: Psychomatric evidence and taxonomic implications. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 100, 316–336.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Demaree, H. A., DeDonno, M. A., Burns, K. J., & Everhart, D. E. (2008). You bet: How personality differences affect risk-taking preferences. Personality and Individual Differences, 44, 1484–1494.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Dickerson, M. G., McMillen, J., Hallenbone, E., Volberg, R., & Wooley, R. (1997). Definition and incidence of problem gambling including the socio-economic distribution. Report to the Victorian Casino and Gambling Authority (VCGA), Victoria.Google Scholar
  17. Domjan, M. (2003). The principles of learning and behavior (5th ed.). London: Wadsworth/Thomson Learning.Google Scholar
  18. Eysenck, H. J. (1977). Crime and personality (3rd ed.). St. Albans: Paladin.Google Scholar
  19. Finn, P. R., Kessler, D. N., & Hussong, A. M. (1994). Risk for alcoholism and classical conditioning to signals for punishment: Evidence for a weak behavioral inhibition system. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 103, 293–301.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. Franken, I. H. A., & Muris, P. (2005). Individual differences in decision-making. Personality and Individual Differences, 39(5), 991–998.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Franken, I. H. A., & Muris, P. (2006). BIS/BAS personality characteristics and college students’ substance use. Personality and Individual Differences, 40(7), 1497–1503.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Friedman, B. H., & Thayer, J. F. (1998). Anxiety and autonomic flexibility: A cardiovascular approach. Biological Psychology, 47, 243–263.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  23. Gottfried, J. A., O’Doherty, J., & Doland, R. J. (2002). Appetitive and aversive olfactory learning in humans studied using event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging. The Journal of Neuroscience, 22, 10829–10837.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  24. Goudriaan, A. E., Oosterlaan, J., de Beurs, E., & van den Brink, W. (2005). Decision making in pathological gambling: A comparison between pathological gamblers, alcohol dependents, persons with Tourette syndrome, and normal controls. Cognitive Brain Research, 23, 137–151.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Grant, D. A., & Berg, E. A. (1948). A behavioral analysis of degree of reinforcement and ease of shifting to new responses in a Weigl-type card sorting problem. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 38, 404–411.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Grant, J. E., Brewer, J. A., & Potenza, M. N. (2006). The neurobiology of substance and behavioral addictions. CNS Spectrums, 11, 924–930.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Gray, J. A. (1982). The neuropsychology of anxiety: An enquiry into the functions of the septohippocampal system. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Hansen, A. L., Johnsen, B. H., Sollers, J. J., I. I. I., Stenvik, K., & Thayer, J. F. (2004). Heart rate variability and its relation to prefrontal cognitive function: The effects of training and detraining. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 93, 263–272.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Hansen, A. L., Johnsen, B. H., & Thayer, J. F. (2003). Vagal influence on working memory and attention. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 48, 263–274.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Hare, R. D., & Quinn, M. J. (1971). Psychopathy and autonomic conditionoing. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 77, 223–235.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Heaton, R. K., Staff, P. A. R., & Goldin, J. N. (2003). WCST: CV4 Wisconsin Card Sorting Test: Computer Version 4 research edition user’s manual. Lutz, FL: Psychological Assessment Resources, Inc.Google Scholar
  32. Hodgson, R., Alwyn, T., John, B., Thom, B., & Smith, A. (2002). The fast alcohol screening test. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 37, 61–66.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Ingjaldsson, J. T., Laberg, J. C., & Thayer, J. F. (2003). Reduced heart rate variability in chronic alcohol abuse: Relationship with negative mood, chronic thought suppression, and compulsive drinking. Biological Psychiatry, 54, 1427–1436.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. Johansson, A., Grant, J. E., Kim, S. W., Odlaug, B. L., & Götestam, K. G. (2009). Risk factors for problematic gambling: A critical literature review. Journal of Gambling Studies, 25, 67–92.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Jorm, A. F., Christensen, H., Henderson, A. S., Jacomb, P. A., Korten, A. E., & Rodgers, B. (1999). Using the BIS/BAS scales to measure behavioural inhibition and behavioural activation: Factor structure, validity and norms in a large community sample. Personality and Individual Differences, 26, 49–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Lane, R. D., McRae, K., Reiman, E. M., Chen, K., Ahern, G. L., & Thayer, J. F. (2009). Neural correlates of heart rate variability during emotion. Neuroimage, 44, 213–222.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Leary, K., & Dickerson, M. (1985). Levels of arousal in high- and low-frequency gamblers. Behavioural Research and Therapy, 23, 635–640.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Lesieur, H. R., & Blume, S. B. (1993). Revising the South Oaks Gambling Screen in different settings. Journal of Gambling Studies, 9, 213–223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Lissek, S., Powers, A. S., McClure, E. B., Phelps, E. A., Woldehawariat, G., Grillon, C., et al. (2005). Classical fear conditioning in the anxiety disorders: a meta-analysis. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 43(11), 1391–1424.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  40. Loewenstein, G. F., Weber, E. U., Hsee, C. K., & Welch, N. (2001). Risk as feelings. Psychological Bulletin, 127, 267–286.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. Lykken, D. T. (1957). A study of anxiety in the sociopathic personality. Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 55, 6–10.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Lykken, D. T., & Venables, P. H. (1971). Direct measurement of skin conductance: A proposal for standardization. Psychophysiology, 8, 656–672.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  43. Mindware Technologies Ltd. (2007). MindWare EDA Analysis Module (Version 2.56) [Computer software]. Gahanna, OH: National Instruments.Google Scholar
  44. Miu, A. C., Heilman, R. M., & Houser, D. (2008). Anxiety imparis decision-making: Psychophysiological evidence from an Iowa Gambling Task. Biological Psychology, 77, 353–358.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Must, A., Szabó, Z., Bódi, N., Szász, A., Janka, Z., & Kéri, S. (2006). Sensitivity to reward and punishment and the prefrontal cortex in major depression. Journal of Affective Disorders, 90, 209–215.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Myrseth, H., Pallesen, S., Molde, H., Johnsen, B. H., & Lorvik, I. M. (2009). Personality factors as predictors of pathological gambling. Personality and Individual Differences, 47, 933–937.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Pavlov, I. P. (1927). Conditioned reflexes. New York: Dover.Google Scholar
  48. Petry, N. M., Stinson, F. S., & Grant, B. F. (2005). Comorbidity of DSM-IV pathological gambling and other psychiatric disorders: Results from the National Epidemiologic Survey on Alchohol and Related Conditions. Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 66, 564–574.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. Potenza, M. N., Leung, H. C., Blumberg, H. P., Peterson, B. S., Fulbright, R. K., Lacadie, C. M., et al. (2003). An fMRI stroop task study of ventromedial prefrontal cortical function in pathological gamblers. American Journal of Psychiatry, 160, 1990–1994.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. Psychology Software Tools Inc. (2005). E-Prime (Version 2.0) [Computer software]. Pittsburg, PA: Author.Google Scholar
  51. Reuter, J., Raedler, T., Rosem, M., Hand, I., Gläscher, J., & Büchel, C. (2005). Pathological gambling is linked to reduced activation of the mesolimbis reward system. Nature Neuroscience, 8, 147–148.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. Sharpe, L., & Tarrier, N. (1993). Towards a congnitive-behavioural theory of problem gambling. British Journal of Psychiatry, 162, 407–412.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  53. Suhr, J. A., & Tsanadis, J. (2007). Affect and personality correlates of the Iowa Gambling Task. Personality and Individual Differences, 43(1), 27–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Task Force of the European Society of Cardiology and the North American Society of Pacing and Electrophysiology. (1996). Heart rate variability: Standards of measurement, physiological interpretation, and clinical use. Circulation, 93, 1043–1065.Google Scholar
  55. Thayer, J. F., & Brosschot, J. F. (2005). Psychosomatics and psychopathology: Looking up and down from the brain. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 30, 1050–1058.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. Van Tharp, K., Maltzman, I., Syndulko, K., & Ziskind, E. (1980). Autonomic activity during anticipation of an aversive tone in noninstitutionalized sociopaths. Psychophysiology, 17, 123–128.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. Zigmond, A. S., & Snaith, R. P. (1983). The hospital anxiety and depression scale. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavia, 67, 361–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Ziskind, E., Syndulko, K., & Maltzman, I. (1978). Aversive conditioning in the sociopath. The Pavlovian Journal of Biological Science, 13, 199–205.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Geir Scott Brunborg
    • 1
  • Bjørn Helge Johnsen
    • 1
  • Ståle Pallesen
    • 1
  • Helge Molde
    • 1
  • Rune Aune Mentzoni
    • 1
  • Helga Myrseth
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Psychosocial ScienceUniversity of BergenBergenNorway

Personalised recommendations