NEW PAPER: Gabe Brooks on schizotypy and gambling cognitions

New paper from the lab just published at Journal of Behavioral Addictions. The starting point for this study was asking whether delusional beliefs in schizophrenia might have some mechanistic overlap with gambling cognitive distortions (e.g. superstitious beliefs). Across 3 separate data-sets, we find strong support for that hypothesis, and in fact the associations with schizotypy are of similar effect size to the associations between gambling tendencies and impulsivity, which is well recognized as a major trait-level risk factor for gambling harm. We note that it is not just the delusion-related facet of schizotypy (‘perceptual aberration’ on the SPQ-B) that correlates with gambling tendencies: trait negative features and disorganized thought facets did too, albeit more weakly. There were also some unexpected findings here about luck beliefs (which are one aspect of gambling-related cognitions that are sometimes studied in isolation): schizotypy was associated with beliefs in bad luck but not beliefs in good luck (the latter tapped with the BIGLS, as the most widely used luck scale in the literature and developed at UBC by Peter Darke). We recommend future research uses the alternative BALS that captures general beliefs in luck and bad luck specifically.

Brooks G & Clark L. Gambling along the schizotypy spectrum: The associations between schizotypal personality, gambling-related cognitions, and problem gambling. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 2022, in press. doi: 10.1556/2006.2022.00021