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Behav Brain Res. 2018 Jul 16;347:8-16. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2018.03.009. Epub 2018 Mar 6.

Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer: A new paradigm to assess pathological mechanisms with regard to the use of Internet applications.

Author information

1
Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, University of Bamberg, Markusplatz 3, Bamberg 96047, Germany.
2
Sussex Addiction Research and Intervention Centre, School of Psychology, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton BN1 9QH, UK.
3
Department of General Psychology: Cognition, University of Duisburg-Essen, Forsthausweg 2, Duisburg 47048, Germany.
4
Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, Hannover Medical School, Carl-Neuberg-Straße 1, Hannover 30625, Germany.
5
Department of Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy, University of Bamberg, Markusplatz 3, Bamberg 96047, Germany. Electronic address: Sabine.Loeber@uni-bamberg.de.

Abstract

At present, there is a considerable lack of human studies that investigated the impact of conditioned cues on instrumental responding although these processes are considered as core mechanisms contributing to the development and maintenance of addictive behaviours. No studies are available that assessed these processes with regard to Internet gaming or Internet shopping applications. We thus developed a Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer (PIT)-Paradigm implementing appetitive stimuli related to Internet gaming and Internet shopping applications and investigated whether an outcome-specific PIT-Effect is observed. In addition, we assessed whether the problematic use of gaming or shopping applications, personality traits and stress would affect the acquisition of knowledge of the experimental contingencies during Pavlovian training and the impact of conditioned stimuli on instrumental responding. A PIT-Paradigm, screenings for Internet gaming disorder and Internet shopping disorder (s-IAT), and questionnaires on personality traits (NEO-FFI, BIS-15) and perceived stress (PSQ20) were administered to sixty-six participants. The PIT-Paradigm demonstrated the effects of stimuli conditioned to rewards related to Internet gaming and Internet shopping applications on instrumental responding to obtain such rewards. Findings also indicated that severity of problematic Internet gaming, but not Internet shopping, contributed to the acquisition of knowledge of the experimental contingencies. Stress, extraversion, neuroticism and gender emerged as further predictors. The strength of expectancy of the different reinforcers affected the 'gaming PIT'-Effect; however, none of the variables assessed in the present study showed any effect on the 'shopping PIT'-Effect. Future studies including participants with pathological use patterns that can be classified as internet use disorder are warranted to extend these findings.

KEYWORDS:

Appetitive conditioning; Instrumental responding; Internet gaming; Internet shopping; PIT; Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer

PMID:
29522786
DOI:
10.1016/j.bbr.2018.03.009
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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