Decision-making and Related Processes in Internet Gaming Disorder and Other Types of Internet-Use Disorders
- 167 Downloads
Purpose of Review
The review aims to characterize decision-making in individuals with symptoms of Internet gaming disorder (IGD) and other types of Internet-use disorders. We therefore discuss both theories of decision-making and theoretical models of Internet-use disorders as well as recent studies which investigated decision-making in these addictive behaviors.
Studies from 2012 to 2017 demonstrated that individuals with symptoms of IGD show riskier behavior, tend to disregard objective probabilities, display reduced feedback processing, and have a preference for immediate rewards. These behaviors are related to increased reward sensitivity and reduced executive/inhibitory control on behavioral and brain levels.
Risky and short-termly oriented decisions may be major aspects in the development and maintenance of IGD and other Internet-use disorders. Dual-process models of decision-making can explain the addictive behavior by interactions between immediate reward expectation, specific predisposing factors, and situational aspects. These interactions make it increasingly likely that short-term-oriented impulses towards the use of specific Internet applications overwhelm attempts to reflectively control the behavior.
KeywordsInternet addiction Internet gaming disorder Internet-use disorders Decision-making Inhibitory control Executive functions
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
Dr. Johannes Schiebener and Prof. Dr. Matthias Brand declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance
- 11.Goudriaan AE, Oosterlaan J, Beurs E, van den Brink W. Decision making in pathological gambling: a comparison between pathological gamblers, alcohol dependents, persons with Tourette syndrome, and normal controls. Cogn Brain Res. 2005;23:137–51. doi: 10.1016/j.cogbrainres.2005.01.017.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 18.•• Volkow ND, Wang GJ, Fowler JS, Tomasi D. Addiction circuitry in the human brain. Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 2012;52:321–36. doi: 10.1146/annurev-pharmtox-010611-134625. An overview of brain regions and brain processes associated with addiction. The authors relate brain processes with psychological mechanisms involved in the addiction process, such as conditioning, executive control, motivation, mood, stress, and self-awareness. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 20.•• Everitt BJ, Robbins TW. Drug addiction: updating actions to habits to compulsions ten years on. Annu Rev Psychol. 2016;67:23–50. doi: 10.1146/annurev-psych-122414-033457. A recent reconsideration of the idea that development of substance-use disorders can be considered a transition from voluntary recreational drug use to compulsive drug-seeking. The original idea is refined with respect to the role of dorsal and ventral striatal mechanisms and the influence of Pavlovian conditioning on drug-associated stimuli CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 26.•• Dong G, Potenza MN. A cognitive-behavioral model of Internet gaming disorder: theoretical underpinnings and clinical implications. J Psychiatr Res. 2014;58:7–11. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2014.07.005. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first theoretical model focussing on the mechanisms and treatment starting points for IGD after this condition has been added to the DSM-5. The model emphasizes the potential relationships between stress, reward sensation, executive control, and decision-making in the development and maintenance of IGD. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
- 27.•• Brand M, Young KS, Laier C, Wölfling K, Potenza MN. Integrating psychological and neurobiological considerations regarding the development and maintenance of specific Internet-use disorders: an Interaction of Person-Affect-Cognition-Execution (I-PACE) model. Neurosci Biobehav Rev. 2016;71:252–66. doi: 10.1016/j.neubiorev.2016.08.033. The authors suggest a theoretical model of the development and maintenance of specific Internet-use disorders, based on previous literature. The I-PACE model summarizes personal, affective, and cognitive mechanisms most likely involved in Internet-use disorders. Examples of the concepts involved are the following: biopsychological constitution, personality, psychopathology, motivation, Internet-related cognitions, coping, cue reactivity, craving, executive functions, and decision-making.
- 29.Turel O, Qahri-Saremi H. Problematic use of social networking sites: antecedents and consequence from a dual system theory perspective. J Manag Inf Syst. in press; doi: 10.1080/07421222.2016.1267529.
- 35.•• Schiebener J, Brand M. Decision making under objective risk conditions—a review of cognitive and emotional correlates, strategies, feedback processing, and external influences. Neuropsychol Rev. 2015;25:171–98. doi: 10.1007/s11065-015-9285-x. A review of the literature investigating the cognitive and emotional processes in decision-making under objective risk. Situational aspects (e.g., stress), attributes of the individual (e.g., impulsivity), and inner processes (e.g., reward-seeking and executive control processes) are considered as factors determining decision-making performance. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 40.Chen SHWL, Weng L, Su Y, Wu H, Yang P. Development of a Chinese Internet addiction scale and its psychometric study. Chin J Psychol. 2003;45:279.Google Scholar
- 41.• Yao Y-W, Wang L-J, Yip SW, Chen PR, Li S, Xu J, et al. Impaired decision-making under risk is associated with gaming-specific inhibition deficits among college students with Internet gaming disorder. Psychiatry Res. 2015;229:302–9. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2015.07.004. The study uses a Go/No-Go Task with gaming-related and neutral pictures as well as decision-making tasks. The findings that individuals with IGD symptoms show inhibition deficits when gaming-related stimuli are presented and the finding that this was associated with decision-making deficits are helpful for understanding potential neurocognitive deficits in IGD. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 42.• Dong G, Potenza MN. Risk-taking and risky decision-making in Internet gaming disorder: implications regarding online gaming in the setting of negative consequences. J Psychiatr Res. 2016;73:1–8. doi: 10.1016/j.jpsychires.2015.11.011. Patients with IGD diagnosis were carefully chosen for this fMRI study. The brain-behavior relationships discovered in this study are very helpful for understanding the role of executive control for hasty and risky decision-making in IGD. CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 43.Wang L, Wu L, Lin X, Zhang Y, Zhou H, Du X, et al. Dysfunctional default mode network and executive control network in people with Internet gaming disorder: independent component analysis under a probability discounting task. Eur Psychiatry. 2016;34:36–42. doi: 10.1016/j.eurpsy.2016.01.2424.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 44.• Wang Y, Wu L, Wang L, Zhang Y, Du X, Dong G. Impaired decision-making and impulse control in Internet gaming addicts: evidence from the comparison with recreational Internet game users. Addict Biol. in press. doi: 10.1111/adb.12458. The authors compared decision-making performance of recreational video gamers and video gamers with symptoms of IGD at the behavioral and brain levels.
- 49.Brand M, Recknor EC, Grabenhorst F, Bechara A. Decisions under ambiguity and decisions under risk: correlations with executive functions and comparisons of two different gambling tasks with implicit and explicit rules. J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2007;29:86–99. doi: 10.1080/13803390500507196.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 51.Brand M, Laier C, Pawlikowski M, Schächtle U, Schöler T, Altstötter-Gleich C. Watching pornographic pictures on the Internet: role of sexual arousal ratings and psychological-psychiatric symptoms for using Internet sex sites excessively. Cyberpsychol Behav Soc Netw. 2011;14:371–7. doi: 10.1089/cyber.2010.0222.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 53.Qi X, Du X, Yang Y, Du G, Gao P, Zhang Y, et al. Decreased modulation by the risk level on the brain activation during decision making in adolescents with internet gaming disorder. Front Behav Neurosci. 2015;9 doi: 10.3389/fnbeh.2015.00296.
- 56.Sariyska R, Lachmann B, Markett S, Reuter M, Montag C. Individual differences in implicit learning abilities and impulsive behavior in the context of Internet addiction and Internet gaming disorder under the consideration of gender. Addict Behav Rep. in press; doi: 10.1016/j.abrep.2017.02.002.
- 59.Wang Y, Wu L, Zhou H, Lin X, Zhang Y, Du X, et al. Impaired executive control and reward circuit in Internet gaming addicts under a delay discounting task: independent component analysis. Eur Arch Psychiatry Clin Neurosci. in press; doi: 10.1007/s00406-016-0721-6.
- 63.•• Kardefelt-Winther D, Heeren A, Schimmenti A, van Rooij A, Maurage P, Carras M, et al. How can we conceptualize behavioural addiction without pathologizing common behaviours? Addict. 2017; doi: 10.1111/add.13763. The threat of overpathologizing common behaviors as behavioral addictions is discussed. The authors propose an operational definition as well as exclusion criteria which help to avoid the problem of overpathologizing of everyday behaviors.
- 64.•• Billieux J, Schimmenti A, Khazaal Y, Maurage P, Heeren A. Are we overpathologizing everyday life? A tenable blueprint for behavioral addiction research. J Behav Addict. 2015;4:119–23. doi: 10.1556/2006.4.2015.009. The article uses single-case examples and historical views on behavioral addictions to vividly point out the threat of overpathologizing common behaviors as behavioral addictions. Suggestions for future research are made and the importance of psychological research in the field is highlighted. CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar