J Behav Addict. 2016 Oct 25:1-8.
Background and aims
People with substance abuse and pathological gamblers show an attentional bias. In a laboratory setting, we found an attentional bias using an addiction Stroop in adults with Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD). We aimed at investigating this effect using two web-based experiments.
Study 1: Gamers with IGD, casual gamers, and non-gamers (N = 81, 28.1 ± 7.8 years) completed a web-based addiction Stroop with a fully randomized word order. They saw computer-related and neutral words in four colors and indicated the word color via keypress. Study 2: Gamers with IGD, casual gamers, and non-gamers (N = 87, 23.4 ± 5.1 years) completed a web-based addiction Stroop and a classical Stroop (incongruent color and neutral words), which both had a block design. We expected that in both studies, only the gamers with IGD would react more slowly to computer-related words in the addiction Stroop. All groups were expected to react more slowly to incongruent color words in the classical Stroop.
In neither study did the gamers with IGD differ in their reaction times to computer-related words compared to neutral words. In Study 2, all groups reacted more slowly to incongruent color words than to neutral words confirming the validity of the online reaction time assessment.
Gamers with IGD did not show a significant attentional bias. IGD may differ from substance abuse and pathological gambling in this respect; alternatively experimenting on the Internet may have introduced error variance that made it harder to detect a bias.
KEYWORDS: Internet Gaming Disorder; Stroop; addiction Stroop; attentional bias