Cognitive Distortions in Disordered Gambling

  • Adam S. GoodieEmail author
  • Erica E. Fortune
  • Jessica J. Shotwell


Cognitive distortions are a central feature in the development and maintenance of gambling disorder, despite not being a diagnostic criterion. A substantial clinical literature confirms that targeting distortions in the context of cognitive behavioral treatment adds efficacy in individual and group settings, across demographics. Several current instruments measure illusion of control, gambler’s fallacy, and other distortions. However, they are subject to criticism such as lack of content validity through incompleteness or including noncognitive factors such as emotion or excessively broad cognitive factors such as cognitive bias, lack of factor analytic confirmation, and lack of measurement invariance confirmation. We advocate that the next step is to clarify what is and what is not a contributing cognitive distortion in gambling disorder, including clarification of illusion of control and other concepts with multiple definitions. It is concluded that a next generation of instruments, improved on these metrics, will contribute to increased understanding and treatment efficacy.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adam S. Goodie
    • 1
    Email author
  • Erica E. Fortune
    • 2
  • Jessica J. Shotwell
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyArcadia UniversityGlensideUSA
  3. 3.Department of Health Promotion and BehaviorUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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