Mark D. Griffiths

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Mark D. Griffiths
EducationBSc in Psychology, PhD in Psychology
OccupationUniversity professor of gambling studies
EmployerNottingham Trent University
Known forResearch of "Game addiction" and "Gambling"
TitleDirector of the International Gaming Research Unit

Mark D. Griffiths is an English chartered psychologist focusing in the field of behavioural addictions, namely gambling disorder, gaming addiction, Internet addiction, sex addiction, and work addiction. He is a Professor of Behavioural Addiction at Nottingham Trent University, and director of the International Gaming Research Unit.[1] He is the author of five books including Gambling Addiction and its Treatment Within the NHS, Gambling and Gaming Addictions in Adolescence, and Adolescent Gambling. He has also authored over 600 refereed papers, 140+ book chapters and more than 1,500 articles,[1] and has won 15 awards for his research, including a Lifetime Achievement Award For Contributions to the Field of Youth Gambling in 2006 and International Excellence Award For Gambling Research in 2003 and a Lifetime Research Award For Gambling Research in 2013.[2]

Education and career[edit]

Griffiths graduated with a BSc in Psychology from the University of Bradford. He began teaching in 1988 while working on his PhD at Exeter University. He was a lecturer for the Workers' Education Association and did weekly support teaching at Exeter University. He completed his PhD thesis on fruit machine addiction at Exeter University in 1990.[3] Having acquired his degree, in 1990 he started his first full-time lectureship at the University of Plymouth, where he also gained his teaching qualifications. In 1995 he moved to Nottingham Trent University, where he has worked since and is currently a Professor of Gambling Studies.[4]

Over the course of his career, Griffiths has served on over 20 national and international committees, including the European Association for the Study of Gambling, Society for the Study of Gambling, Gamblers Anonymous General Services Board, National Council on Gambling, and Gamcare. He is an editorial board member of International Gambling Studies, Journal of Gambling Issues, International Journal of Casino and Business, International Journal of Cyber Behavior, Psychology and Learning, and Aloma: Revista de Psicologia, and has advised governmental bodies in the UK, Australia, Canada, Israel, Finland, Sweden and Norway.[2] Over the past five years Griffiths and members of the Gaming Research Unit have worked with various international and national game companies to help develop social responsibility guidelines and policies, carry out audits of social responsibility practices within online and offline gaming environments, develop harm minimisation practices within gaming environments, help design safer gaming products and assess psychosocial impact of new games, and provide research and consultancy services in the psychology of gaming practices. Some of these companies include the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, the Canadian Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation, the Irish National Lottery, and Casino Cosmopol.[5]

In early 2007, Griffiths opposed the hosting of a super-style casino in Blackpool, arguing that it "wasn't typical in terms of demographics, and that the proposed seafront location was too close to the poorest residential areas of town," and supporting the location of the casino in Manchester.[6] In 2014, Griffiths was featured in an extensive interview with[7] In the course of the discussion, he recommended that the commercial gambling industry emulate the Camelot Group, who derive their profits from a comparatively large pool of customers, thus spreading the financial and social impact of gambling losses. He also described the proclivity of adolescents to develop addictive behaviours through playing free, casino-style games on social media platforms (e.g. Zynga Poker). He criticised such games as the "number one risk factor for adolescent gambling addiction."

Research fields[edit]

Griffiths' research focuses on the psychology of excessive behavior. His research interests include online research methods, internet studies, cyberpsychology, behavioural addiction, gambling addiction, video game addiction, internet addiction, exercise addiction, and sex addiction.[8] He has also conducted research in social responsibility in gambling and teaching and learning in higher education.[5] In these fields he has published over 400 refereed research papers, three books, 70 book chapters and over 1,000 other articles. He is best recognised for his work on gambling and game addiction where, for example, he explores how people from different ages are drawn to gambling. For example, he has reported that demo versions and online "skill schools" where players gamble with points rather than money appeal more to teenagers than adults.[9] Furthermore, he has established that factors such as earning points, finding rare game items, and fast loading times are more important for video game players than gender, age, and time spent playing.[10][11]

He has written on egomania, which he defines as an obsessive preoccupation with the self,[12] teratophilia[13] and pandrogyny.[14]

Prominent findings[edit]

In a resent study Professor Griffiths co-wrote conducted a study with Helena Cole, a researcher in the Division of psychology Nottingham Trent University, that explored what the social interactions occur both within and outside of MMORPGs[15]. Griffiths and Cole both conducted an experiment that surveyed 912 players who played MMORPGs across 41 countries. The study showed that social interactions in MMORPGs are a major component in the enjoyment of playing video games. The study also showed MMORPGs can be extremely social games, with a vast amount of gamers who play MMORPGs making life-long friends or even partners. The study concluded that video gaming may allow players to express themselves in ways they that they might not be comfortable doing in real life because of their appearance, gender, sexuality, or age. This study is one of many that Griffiths has conducted on the topic of how video games affect people.


Griffiths has received awards including:[2] [16]


  • Griffiths, Mark (1995). Adolescent Gambling. London: Routledge.
  • Griffiths, Mark; Meyer, Gerhard; Hayer, Tobias (Eds.) (2009). Problem Gaming in Europe: Challenges, Prevention, and Interventions. New York: Springer. ISBN 978-0-387-09486-1.

Journal publications[edit]

  • Griffiths, Mark; De Freitas, Sara (2008). The convergence of gaming practices with other media forms: What potential for learning? A review of the literature. Learning, Media and Technology. 33. pp. 11–20.
  • Griffiths, Mark; Barnes, Andrew (2008). Internet gambling: An online empirical study among student gamblers. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. 6. pp. 194–204.
  • Griffiths, Mark; Meredith, Alex (2009). Videogame addiction and its treatment. Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy. 39. pp. 47–53.
  • Griffiths, Mark; Parke, Jonathan; Wood, Richard; Rigbye, Jane (2010). Online poker gambling in university students: Further findings from an online survey. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. 8. pp. 82–89.
  • Griffiths, Mark; Wardle, Heather; Orford, Jim; Sproston, Kerry; Erens, Bob (2011). Internet gambling, health, smoking and alcohol use: Findings from the 2007 British Gambling Prevalence Survey. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. 9. pp. 1–11.
  • Griffiths, Mark; Wardle, Heather; Orford, Jim; Sproston, Kerry; Erens, Bob (2009). Sociodemographic correlates of Internet gambling: Findings from the 2007 British Gambling Prevalence Survey. CyberPsychology and Behavior. 12. pp. 199–202.
  • Griffiths, Mark; Hussain, Zaheer (2008). Gender swapping and socialising in cyberspace: An exploratory study. CyberPsychology and Behavior. 11. pp. 47–53.
  • Griffiths, Mark; Parke, Jonathan; Parke, Adrian (2007). Positive thinking among slot machine gamblers: A case of maladaptive coping?. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction. 5. pp. 39–52.
  • Griffiths, Mark; Sergeant, Mark; Dickins, Thomas; Davies, Mark (2007). Women's hedonic ratings of body odor of heterosexual and homosexual men. Archives of Sexual Behavior. 36. pp. 395–401.
  • Griffiths, Mark; Wood, Richard (2007). A qualitative investigation of problem gambling as an escape-based coping strategy. Psychology and Psychotherapy: Theory, Research and Practice. 80. pp. 107–125.
  • Griffiths, Mark; Wood, Richard (2007). Online guidance, advice, and support for problem gamblers and concerned relatives and friends: An evaluation of the GamAid pilot service. British Journal of Guidance and Counselling. 35. pp. 373–389.
  • Griffiths, Mark (1988). The Psychological Deception and Perception of Slot Machines. Economic Psychology Research Group.
  • Griffiths, Mark (1988). Factors in Gambling and Sexual Behaviour. Economic Psychology Research Group.
  • Griffiths, Mark (1988). Gambling in Children and Adolescents. Economic Psychology Research Group.
  • Griffiths, Mark (1988). Addiction to Fruit Machines: A Preliminary Study. Economic Psychology Research Group.
  • Griffiths, Mark (1988). The Psychological Deception and Perception of Slot Machines. Economic Psychology Research Group.


  1. ^ a b "Experts: Dr. Mark D. Griffiths, Ph.D." Psychology Today (online). Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  2. ^ a b c "Mark Griffiths, external activity". Nottingham Trent University (online). Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  3. ^ "Interview: The gambling man? Prof. Mark Griffiths". psychblog-Jamie Davies (online). Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  4. ^ "BPS teaching awards" (PDF). The British Psychological Society (online). Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  5. ^ a b "Mark Griffiths, research". Nottingham Trent University (online). Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  6. ^ Benjamin, Alison (7 February 2007). "Gambling professor backs casino winner". London: The Guardian (online). Retrieved 10 March 2013.
  7. ^ "Dr Mark Griffiths on gambling: Right Casino interview -". Retrieved 21 November 2017.
  8. ^ "About Mark Griffiths". academia(online). Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  9. ^ "Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained?". Psychology Today (online). Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  10. ^ "Rise of the machines (Part 1)". Psychology Today (online). Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  11. ^ "Rise of the machines (Part 2)". Psychology Today (online). Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  12. ^ "The ego has landed: A personal look at egomania". Mark Griffiths (online). Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  13. ^ "The ugly truth: A brief look at teratophilia". Mark Griffiths (online). Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  14. ^ "A gender setting: Inside the world of pandrogyny". Mark Griffiths (online). Retrieved 5 March 2013.
  15. ^ "Massively multiplayer online role-playing game". Wikipedia. 2017-12-03.
  16. ^ "Mark Griffiths Bio". Journalisted(online). Retrieved 8 March 2013.

External links[edit]