Explicit and Implicit Emotional Expression in Gambling Disorder Measured by a Serious Game: A Pilot Study

Darío Guerrero-Vaca, Roser Granero, Fernando Fernández-Aranda, Gemma Mestre-Bach, Virginia Martín-Romera, Núria Mallorquí-Bagué, Teresa Mena-Moreno, Neus Aymamí, Amparo del Pino-Gutiérrez, Mónica Gómez-Peña, Laura Moragas, Zaida Agüera, Cristina Vintró-Alcaraz, María Lozano-Madrid, José M. Menchón, Salomé Tárrega, Lucero Munguía, Susana Jiménez-Murcia*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Behavioral addictions have been related with biased emotional reactions to risky choices. However, few studies have analyzed the role of both explicit and implicit emotional expression in gambling disorder (GD). This pilot study aims to examine emotion regulation in treatment-seeking patients with GD. The sample included n = 35 participants classified into three groups: patients with current GD, patients with GD in remission, and a control group without GD. Implicit emotional expressions were evaluated through a serious videogame (Playmancer) and explicit emotions were measured through self-reports. Patients in the current GD group had, compared to the remission and control groups, lower levels of implicit emotion expression and higher levels of explicit emotion expression. The patients in GD remission group endorsed better emotion regulation capacity in comparison to patients with current GD. We conclude that differences in emotion expression profiles (such as anger and anxiety) should be considered both in the development of screening and diagnostic measures and in the planning of prevention and treatment programs.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalJournal of Gambling Studies
Publication statusAccepted in press - 2020


  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Emotion regulation
  • Gambling disorder
  • Serious videogames


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