A systematic review and meta-analysis of risky decision-making in specific domains of problematic use of the internet: Evidence across different decision-making tasks

Silke M. Müller, Stephanie Antons, Elisa Wegmann, Konstantinos Ioannidis, Daniel L. King, Marc N. Potenza, Samuel R. Chamberlain, Matthias Brand

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
176 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

This systematic review summarizes empirical evidence on risky decision-making (objective risk and ambiguity) in specific domains of problematic use of the internet (PUI) focusing on online addictive behaviors. We conducted a pre-registered (PROSPERO: CRD42020188452) PubMed search for PUI domains: gaming, social-network use, online buying-shopping, online pornography use, and unspecified PUI. We used the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale for quality assessment. Relevant studies were identified only for gaming (n = 19), social-network use (n = 8), unspecified PUI (n = 7), and online gambling (n = 1). The meta-analyses included 25 studies (2498 participants) comparing PUI and control groups regarding decision-making performance under objective risk and ambiguity. Across PUI domains, individuals with PUI compared to control participants showed more disadvantageous decision-making in measures of objective risk (g = −0.42 [−0.69, −0.16], p = .002) but not ambiguity (g = −0.22 [−0.47, −0.04], p = .096). PUI domain and gender were significant moderators. In the risk domain, effects were particularly present in gaming disorder, especially in exclusively male samples. Overall, the paucity of empirical studies in the considered area necessitates further research to identify probable gender- and disorder-specific cognitive relationships.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105271
Number of pages15
JournalNEUROSCIENCE AND BIOBEHAVIORAL REVIEWS
Volume152
Early online date3 Jun 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2023

Keywords

  • Addictive behavior
  • Compulsive behavior
  • Decision-making
  • Gambling task
  • Gaming disorder
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Internet addiction
  • Social networks

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