Please wait a minute...
Acta Psychologica Sinica    2012, Vol. 44 Issue (11) : 1523-1534     DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2012.01523
Internet Addicts’ Behavior Impulsivity: Evidence from the Iowa Gambling Task
XU Si-Hua
(Department of Applied Sociology and Psychology, Guangdong University of Business Studies, Guangzhou, 510320, China)
Download: PDF(427 KB)  
Export: BibTeX | EndNote | Reference Manager | ProCite | RefWorks    
Abstract  Internet addiction, defined as a maladaptive use of the Internet, is estimated to occur in 8–13% of college students (Chou, Condron, & Belland, 2005). It has become a serious mental health issue worldwide because addicts are impaired in various behavioral aspects including social interactions and academic performance (Morahan-Martin & Schumacher, 2000; Scherer, 1997; Young, 1998). Some researchers consider Internet addiction as a kind of behavioral addiction. However, there are few experimental studies on the cognitive functions of Internet addicts and limited data are available to compare Internet addicts with other addictive behaviors, such as drug abuse and pathological gambling. In the present study, we examined internet addicts’ function of decision making. Two groups of participants, 42 Internet addicts (18~22 years old, 32 male, M = 19.79, SD = 1.14) and 42 controls (18~22 years old, 26 male, M = 19.71, SD = 1.13), were compared on the cognitive function and impulsivity by using a Chinese computerized versions of the IGT and Sensation Seeking Scale (SSS). In the IGT, subjects had to choose between four decks of cards. Unknown to the subjects, two piles offered larger short-term gains that are offset by greater risks of heavy losses, and hence were disadvantageous in the long run. The other two piles offered smaller short-term gains and a lower risk of loss that result in long-term maximization of the monetary payoff. The results of the present study showed that (1) compared with controls, sensation seeking of internet addicts was higher significantly, and internet addicts showed significantly higher scores on subscales of thrill and adventure seeking, disinhibition and boredom susceptibility, and they selected significantly less net decks in the Iowa Gambling Task. Furthermore, Internet addicts made no progress in selecting strategy along with the time course of the decision making. (2) reaction patterns for pure win-cards were consistent between Internet addicts and controls, however, the former still preferred to choose high win-cards in spite of potential high punishment whereas the latter tended to transform the direction of card selection after getting corresponding feedback to avoid potentially high risks. (3) Net scores of the IGT were not correlated with SSS. These results showed some similarities between Internet addiction and other addictive behaviors such as drug abuse and pathological gambling. The findings from the Iowa Gambling Task indicated that Internet addicts have deficits in decision making function, which are characterized by an immediate win-priority selection pattern and tolerance to high risk.
Keywords decision making      internet addiction      personality      Iowa Gambling Task      impulsivity     
Corresponding Authors: XU Si-Hua   
Issue Date: 01 November 2012
E-mail this article
E-mail Alert
Articles by authors
XU Si-Hua
Cite this article:   
XU Si-Hua. Internet Addicts’ Behavior Impulsivity: Evidence from the Iowa Gambling Task[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2012, 44(11): 1523-1534.
URL:     OR
[1] Gui-Bing HE,Shu LI,Zhu-Yuan LIANG. Behavioral decision-making is nudging China toward the overall revitalization[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2018, 50(8): 803-813.
[2] WANG Yiwen, FU Chao, REN Xiangfeng, LIN Yuzhong, GUO Fengbo.  Narcissistic personality modulates outcome evaluation in the trust game[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2017, 49(8): 1080-1088.
[3] YANG Zhaoning; GU Zibei; WANG Dujuan; TAN Xuyun; WANG Xiaoming. The effect of anger and sadness on prosocial decision making: The role of the interpersonal attribution of responsibility[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2017, 49(3): 393-403.
[4] YU Liutao; BAO Jianzhang; CHEN Qinghua; WANG Dahui. The effect of individual confidence on dyadic decision making[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2016, 48(8): 1013-1025.
[5] LIU Yang; SUN Yan. Time unpacking effect and its impact on intertemporal decision making[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2016, 48(4): 362-370.
[6] CUI Yichen; WANG Pei; TAN Chenhao. The influence of implicit theories of personality on processing strategy of person impressions[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2016, 48(12): 1538-1550.
[7] LI Dongping; ZHOU Yueyue; ZHAO Liyan; WANG Yanhui; SUN Wenqiang. Cumulative ecological risk and adolescent internet addiction: The mediating role of basic psychological need satisfaction and positive outcome expectancy[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2016, 48(12): 1519-1537.
[8] XIE Jun; YAN Ming. Active coping or avoidance? The effect of proactive personality on the relationship between workplace ostracism and organizational citizenship behavior[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2016, 48(10): 1314-1325.
[9] XU Jianping; CHEN Jiyue; ZHANG Wei; LI Wenya; SHENG Yu. Faking in Job Applicants' Responses in Personality Tests: #br# Evidence from A Eye-Tracking Study of Job Desirability[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2015, 47(11): 1395-1404.
[10] ZHANG Wei; ZHOU Bingping; ZANG Ling; MO Shuliang. The Attentional Capture of Internet Addicts under the Guidance of Visual Working Memory[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2015, 47(10): 1223-1234.
[11] WANG Yuqing; YAO Pengfei; ZHOU Guomei. The Influence of Facial Attractiveness and Personality Labels on Men and Women’s Mate Preference[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2015, 47(1): 108-118.
[12] ZHANG Jintao; CHEN Chao; WANG Lingjiao; LIU Lu; LIU Feng-e; . The Relationship between Time Spent Online and Internet Addiction among Chinese College Freshmen: A Mediated Moderation Model[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2014, 46(10): 1521-1533.
[13] ZHANG Wei; LIU Yongfang; SUN Qingzhou; HU Qixu ; LIU Yi. Risk Preference in Making Romantic Relationship Decisions for Others with Different Psychological Distance[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2014, 46(10): 1580-1590.
[14] XU Sihua;FANG Zhuo;RAO Hengyi. Real or Hypothetical Monetary Rewards Modulates Risk Taking Behavior[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2013, 45(8): 874-886.
[15] YU Lixia;LING Xiao;JIANG Guangrong. Impulsivity in Non-Suicidal Self-Injurious Adolescents in China[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2013, 45(3): 320-335.
Full text



Copyright © Acta Psychologica Sinica
Support by Beijing Magtech