Psychological similarities between Religious belief & Internet Gaming Disorder (ISD)

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  • Ozman

    Below is a scientific study about the cognitive effects from 'Internet Gaming Disorder' (IGD). As you read the article, notice it's striking psychological similarities to religion. (italics in bold mine)

    The cognitive psychology of Internet gaming disorder

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    'Psychological problems associated with Internet gaming (religious belief) are increasingly recognized as a global problem (Ferguson et al., 2011)

    Maladaptive cognitions include two main subtypes: (Adin & Sari, 2011) thoughts about the self and (Allison et al., 2006) thoughts about the world. Thoughts about the self include self-doubt, low self-efficacy, and negative self-appraisal. In basic terms, the individual has a negative view of his or herself and uses the Internet (the religion) to achieve positive social interaction and feedback from others. Cognitions about the self may include such thoughts as, “I am only good on the Internet” (in the religion) or “I am worthless offline (worthless outside), but online (inside) I am someone.” Cognitive distortions about the world involve generalising specific events to global trends. These may include thoughts such as “The Internet (the religion) is the only place I can feel safe” or “Nobody loves me offline (outside).” These two cognitive distortions are triggered by stimuli associated with the Internet (the religion) , and maintain excessive behavioural patterns of Internet (religious) use....the individual uses Internet gaming (religious belief) as a temporary method of distraction or escape from life problems. ...excessive gaming (excessive religious belief) may be maintained by a process of adherence to multiple rules that enable the player (believer) to reach desired goals...Withdrawal symptoms when Internet gaming (religious belief) is taken away are typically described as irritability, anxiety, or sadness...immersion in gaming (immersion in religion) also provides an escape from unpleasant emotional states caused by negative core beliefs about the self, others, and the real world..individuals may perceive people outside of the Internet game (outside of the religion) are less important and/or unable to relate meaningfully to the player (believer) ... Strict adherence to the online (inside) social group norms may be associated with the belief that the Internet game (the religion) is the only place that is safe and accepting of the player (believer) (Caplan et al., 2009). Accordingly, individuals may perceive people outside of the Internet game (the religion) are less important and/or unable to relate meaningfully to the player. (believer)

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