Student Perspective | Ronald Ngetich | PhD

The University of Gibraltar is a tight-knit family where you can closely interact with the staff and other students, feel loved and valued, and at the same time be in a position to access new excellent academic infrastructure.
25th July 2022

What does having a CERG scholarship mean to you?

CERG scholarship has enabled me to join a vibrant and diverse interdisciplinary team of researchers with multifaceted backgrounds and research interests ranging from the use of machine learning to predict addictive behaviours to the use of psychosocial approaches to conceptualizing the cross-cultural dynamics of gaming and gambling

Why did you choose Gibraltar?

I was majorly persuaded by the experience of my supervisor, Professor Zsolt Demetrovics, who is one of the leading researchers in the field of responsible gaming. More importantly, I found Zsolt to be very accommodating and eager to listen to my research plans. In addition, my desire to do research studies in a multi-cultural environment was my other consideration. However, Gibraltar offered much more, being a city with uniquely desirable weather, amazing geographical features, and proximity to the UK, Europe, and Africa.

What is special about doing your PhD here?

The ability to interact closely with other researchers and the academic staff is very appealing. For instance, learning from the experienced researchers at CERG and interacting with them closely has enriched my knowledge and perspective on gaming and gambling research. Indeed CERG is a family where both staff and students interact in a more accommodating manner, with a great sense of collegiality. More so, the University offer tailor-made research lectures and modules that are articulate to the student’s research needs. I have found this to be invaluable in grasping the key techniques for specific research projects.

What would you say to someone else who might be considering a PhD with us?

The University of Gibraltar is a tight-knit family where you can closely interact with the staff and other students, feel loved and valued, and at the same time be in a position to access new excellent academic infrastructure. If you are considering doing your PhD, and have the ambition to carry out an articulate research project, which is in tandem with the current global challenges, while at the same time able to socialize and interact with colleagues from diverse backgrounds, then the University of Gibraltar is your destination.

Describe your PhD project and the expected outcome.

My research project involves an evaluation of the association between gaming and gambling disorders and human cognition. Under this project, an exploration into the possible impact of the aforementioned disorders affects cognitive performance specifically whether it impairs cognitive domains such as memory, decision making and cognitive control. At its completion, it is expected that through the empirical findings, it would be possible to understand the direction of the effect of gaming and gambling disorders on human cognition and to decipher whether gaming disorders impact behavioural performance in the same way as gambling disorders. It is worth noting that recent studies suggest that cognitive paradigms could be effective as interventions for behavioural addictions (e.g., gambling disorder). Therefore, understanding how specific cognitive domains are affected by a particular addictive behaviour would play a role in designing an effective cognitive treatment plan.

What type of research does it involve and what skills will you be learning?

Through the current programme, I expect to advance my skills in both experimental and cross-sectional research methods. More importantly, I will be learning how to deploy psychometric tools to measure behavioural addiction, specifically gaming and gambling addictions. My project involves the use of experimental design to assess the performance of individuals diagnosed with gaming and gambling disorders on cognitive domains such as memory, decision-making and cognitive control and to compare their performance with that of the healthy controls.

Why should the public know about this topic?

The recent technological advancement and the digital revolution have traversed almost all aspects of human life. Indeed, the internet has made gaming and gambling more accessible online and consequently amplified their occurrence. With an ever-increasing number of people engaging in gaming and gambling, many people have become addicted. Therefore, it is of great importance for key stakeholders such as the policymakers, social and healthcare service providers as well as players to understand the possible effects of playing to effectively mitigate the adverse effects of playing and enhance responsible gaming.

What will be the wider impact of your research?

The wider impact of my research will be twofold. First, the findings of my research will foster a greater understanding of the cognitive effects of gaming and gambling disorders. Therefore, it would be possible to have well designed cognitive and other treatment plans targeting enhancement or inhibition of a specific cognitive function in behavioural addiction patients.  Secondly, my research may significantly shape people’s perception of gaming and gambling by overcoming the rooted misconceptions about the impact of these practices on cognitive functioning. This will go a long way to help players and other stakeholders to have an objective appraisal of gaming and gambling, and thus facilitate responsible gaming.
  • PhD

    PhD by Research

    Our PhD by research programme is based on independent study, guided by your assigned supervisors and support system. It typically takes a minimum of three years to complete full-time, or a minimum of five years when studied part-time.[...]

    FT 3 to 5 Years/ PT 4 to 8 Years

    No Placement option

    Full/Part Time

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