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Mind the Gap: Interrupting Dissociation of Players Through Real-Time Digital Tasks During Online Gambling.

Kiyak, C., 2022. Mind the Gap: Interrupting Dissociation of Players Through Real-Time Digital Tasks During Online Gambling. Masters Thesis (Masters). Bournemouth University.

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Background: When people engage in online gambling, they often lose track of time and money spent which is called a “dissociation state”. Literature suggests that intermittent and dynamic messages that interrupt a task can capture the attentional focus. As interactions increase awareness of the here and now, they may be effective in breaking the players’ dissociation state during online gambling and consequently minimise the potential of gambling related harm. To this respect, in this study we investigated the effectiveness of four types of digital tasks (cognitive, dialogue, informative, and standard tasks) in interrupting the dissociation of players during online gambling. Methods: 50 participants were recruited from the general population who were 18 years old and over, fluent in English and scored no more than 8 (which is the cut-off for high-risk gambling) on the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI). Participants responded to an online survey with demographic questions and PGSI. Eligible participants were invited to the computer based online experiment at the lab where they were randomised to five different digital task groups (experimental groups: cognitive, dialogue, informative, standard; and control group: no task) and they received the digital tasks as an interruption while they were playing online slot gambling on a dummy account on the computer. Participants’ response times to the interruptions were recorded during online gambling. After the gambling session their level of dissociation and their acceptance of the digital tasks were measured by using Jacob’s Dissociation Questionnaire (JDQ) and the Acceptability Questionnaire (both Likert scale and open-ended questions) respectively. Results: The analysis revealed that there was a significant main effect of interruptions in terms of response times F (1, 36) = 6.52, p = .015, and a significant interaction between the two interruptions and the digital tasks F (3, 36) = 4.54, p = .008. However, there was no statistically significant difference between the digital tasks in terms of total response times to two interruptions F (3, 36) = 1.81, p = .16. On the other hand, there was a significant effect of the digital tasks on the dissociation level of participants for the five groups F (4, 45) = 15, p <.001. Cognitive tasks (M = 1.30, SD = 0.82) interrupted the dissociation of players more compared to the other digital tasks. Additionally, there was a significant effect of digital tasks on acceptability for the four groups F (3, 36) = 27.1, p < .001. According to the results of acceptability questionnaires, while players accepted the cognitive tasks the most (M = 25.1, SD = 2.73), standard tasks were accepted the least by the participants (M = 38, SD = 3.86). The qualitative data from the open-ended questions in the Acceptability Questionnaire was analysed using Thematic Analysis. Five main themes were generated: 1. distraction, 2. awareness, 3. user experience, 4. considerations for design and 5. considerations for technology. Implications: Cognitive and dialogue digital tasks could be potentially useful digital tools to interrupt players’ dissociation during online gambling and to minimise gambling related harm. These novel digital tasks might be used in online gambling related prevention and intervention strategies in the field.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Additional Information:If you feel that this work infringes your copyright please contact the BURO Manager.
Uncontrolled Keywords:dissociation; online gambling; digital nudge; persuasive technology; human-computer interaction
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:37672
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:18 Oct 2022 14:33
Last Modified:18 Oct 2022 14:33


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