Therapist narcologist A.G. Danilin analyzes the popular theory of gambling addiction

Views on modern computer addiction psychologists and psychiatrists are divided into three types.
In domestic Psychiatry and Addiction accepted to look for computer dependence as well as dependence on psychoactive substances - like illness. As treatment is proposed ban on computer games and “substitution therapy” with psychotropic drugs.

A second look - depending on the interpretation of virtual games through primitive biological system. Creators of computer games… play on human weaknesses and form a player reflex behavior. In this logic gamer - something like “Pavlov’s dog” on the computer.

The third opinion, did not stick in the general consciousness, considering the dependence of the game attempts to masquerade as a man of some major internal psychological needs. Game - a kind of “flavor identical to natural.”

In this article we try to present it a third look at the problem of addiction to computer games. Immediately say, that we will focus on first-person shooters, “Doom-obaznyh games” or simply “hodilki-shooters”, as they are quite popular, that is highly attractive to the consumer.

Playing as “positive reinforcement”.

Today it is fashionable to talk about addiction to computer games using the “theory of operant conditioning” BF Skinner. At the same time, however, forget that this theory, becoming a method of forced re-education, brought a lot of trouble and found no empirical proof. “Operant conditioning” can certainly change a person’s behavior, but only at the time of its location depending on the psychologist (voluntary or involuntary). Coming out of jail or rehab center, use the method of Skinner, the people returned to the usual forms of behavior before - see “A Clockwork Orange” by Stanley Kubrick.

Explain the meaning of a virtual dependency theory in the light of Skinner is that a person moving through the levels of a computer game, gets a “reinforcement” - small psychological pleasure arising from a win or win. Occurrence depending on the game due to the fact that in real life people get much less “reinforcements”, but in the game he can get them constantly.

However, the same “small treats” we can all get, playing board games, solving a crossword puzzle, downhill skiing, etc. All this today is no less valid than the virtual game. So why do people choose exactly the virtual world and virtual “reinforcements”? Proponents of the concept Skinner did not give an answer to this question.

31 January 2014

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