Using the Multiple-Choice Procedure to Measure Video Game Playing
Type of DegreeMaster's Thesis
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Video gaming shares many similarities with substance use and gambling including neural mechanisms, motivations, and negative consequences. Behavioral economic models have been used to inform conceptual models of addictive behaviors, and may have a similar impact on our understanding of video gaming. The current study used the Multiple-Choice Procedure (MCP) to measure the relative reinforcing value of video game playing for different temporal magnitudes (i.e., 10, 30, and 90 minutes with which to play a video game) relative to alternative monetary reinforcers available immediately or after a 1-week delay. Participants completed the MCP and the Video Game Dependency Scale (VGDS) to assess problems associated with pathological video gaming. Similar to other addictive behaviors measured with the MCP, mean crossover points increased as temporal magnitudes increased and as delay was introduced to the alternative monetary reinforcer. MCP crossover points added to the variance accounted for in VGDS scores, and differed as a function of VGDS scores. The current study is the first to investigate a behavioral economics model of video game playing. Recommendations for future assessment and intervention efforts are provided.