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Addiction – Non-Substance Addictions

4. Cognitive Biases

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About this Lecture


In this lecture, we think about cognitive biases, focusing in particular on: (i) the function of cognitive biases in gambling addiction being maladaptive biases which reduce the likelihood that the individual will stop gambling, due to their expectation of a win; (ii) the near miss bias, which leads individuals to view losses as almost wins; (iii) the recall bias, which leads individuals to remember only the times that they have won; (iv) the gambler’s fallacy, which leads individuals to believe they are due a win after a series of losses; (v) the addictive combination of the machines’ partial variable reinforcement function and gamblers’ potential cognitive biases.


In this course, Dr Ashok Jansari (Goldsmiths, University of London) explores non-substance addictions, specifically gambling addiction. In the first lecture, we think about how addiction can be described and defined as a concept. In the second lecture, we think about some of the risk factors for developing an addiction. In the third lecture, we think about how gambling machines use partial variable reinforcement, which can generate an addiction. Next, we think about some of the cognitive biases which can lead to addictive behaviour, including the near miss bias, the recall bias, and the gambler’s fallacy. In the fifth and final lecture, we think about some patterns which arise in the process of overcoming addiction, specifically looking at Prochaska’s six-stage model of behaviour change.


Dr Ashok Jansari is a senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London. Dr Jansari’s research interests include memory disorders, prosopagnosia, executive functions, and synaesthesia. Dr Jansari is most famous for his research into prosopagnosia, having made numerous TV appearances, including on BBC1’s The One Show, as well as hosting his own ‘Neuro Talk’ YouTube channel:

Some of Dr Jansari's recent publications include 'Acquired synaesthesia following 2C-B use' (2019), 'Using virtual reality to investigate multitasking ability in individuals with frontal lobe lesions' (2019), and 'Identification from CCTV: Assessing police super-recogniser ability to spot faces in a crown and susceptibility to change blindness' (2018).

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Jansari, A. (2022, June 10). Addiction – Non-Substance Addictions - Cognitive Biases [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Jansari, A. "Addiction – Non-Substance Addictions – Cognitive Biases." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 10 Jun 2022,

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