Undergraduate Honors Theses

Date of Award

2017

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Riley Hinson

Abstract

The current study aims to determine the relationship between individuals’ attentional bias scores, measured in a modified Addiction Stroop task, with four other variables; level of involvement in Internet games, impulsivity, behavioural inhibition/activation, and sensation seeking. Recruitment was gathered through the Psychology Sona Research Participation Pool at Western University and was exclusive to male, English speaking, non-colour blind individuals. Participant’s completed a version of the Addiction Stroop task modified for assessment of attentional bias related to Internet gaming. Additionally, participants completed five questionnaires: a Demographics form, the Problem Online Gaming Questionnaire (POGQ), the Barratt Inhibition Scale (BIS), the Behavioural Inhibition/Activation Systems Scale (BIS/BAS), and the Sensation Seeking Scale (SSS). E-prime measured participants’ reaction times to target and matched control words in a modified Addiction Stroop task. Results suggest that higher levels of involvement with Internet games are significantly correlated with attentional bias. This correlation is shown by highly-involved individuals having slower reaction times to target words in comparison to matched control words in the modified Addiction Stroop task. BIS scores and the inhibition factor of the BIS/BAS were significantly correlated with participant’s level of involvement with Internet games. In conclusion, results suggest that individuals with higher levels of involvement with Internet games display attentional bias indicating another similarity between Internet gaming disorder (IGD), substance use, and gambling disorders.

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