Impulsivity and Cognitive Distortions in Problem Gambling: Theory and Application

  • Annika Lindberg
  • Luke Clark
  • Henrietta Bowden-Jones


This chapter explores impulsivity and its relation to problem gambling with a particular focus on gambling-related cognitive distortions. Theory and research have suggested that cognitive distortions play a central role in the maintenance of problem gambling behaviour. Impulsivity has long been known to be key in both initiation and maintenance of the disorder. However, not much is known about the relationship between these two concepts. A recent study (discussed below) explored the link between impulsivity and cognitive distortions in a sample of treatment-seeking gamblers and suggests a strong relationship between cognitive distortions and a preference for immediate rewards. These findings are discussed in relation to existing cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) protocols to explore how this interplay is currently being addressed by treatment.


Problem Gambling Pathological Gambling Gambling Behaviour Delay Discount Cognitive Distortion 
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© Annika Lindberg, Luke Clark and Henrietta Bowden-Jones 2014

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  • Annika Lindberg
  • Luke Clark
  • Henrietta Bowden-Jones

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