International Journal of Psychology and Psychological Therapy

Volume 8 Num. 3 - October 2008


Cognitive distortions and treatment success in pathological gambling

Volume 8 Num. 3 - October 2008 - Pages 387-399


Francisco J. Labrador , Vanessa Ma?oso , Ana Fern?ndez Alba


The verbalizations of 80 pathological gamblers, at a slot-machine gambling situation, were analyzed using the thinking aloud method, pre and post a treatment. The cognitive distortions included in these verbalizations are compared after the gambles were broken up in two groups, success and failure, according with the results of the treatment. At the pre-treatment the success group presents fewer verbalization at the distortion Chance as a selfcorrective process. At the pos-treatment there are no significative differences between both groups in any of the eight kinds of distortions under study. But the success group presents bigger reductions at all distortions, except illusion of control, specially at personification of the gambling machine
and chance as a selfcorrective process. It is concluded that not all the cognitive distortions
are of similar importance for the pathological gambling maintenance. The value of illusion
of control is limited, but there most be bigger the value of personification of the gambling
machine, considering chance as a selfcorrective process and belive in luck.

Key words:

pathological gambling, cognitive distortions, clinical research.

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