The Division on addiction Research Collaborative

Challenges for the ‘normal science’ of Internet gambling

Authored by: Robert J. Williams , Robert T. Wood , Jonathan Parke

Routledge International Handbook of Internet Gambling

Print publication date:  June  2012
Online publication date:  November  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415594431
eBook ISBN: 9780203814574
Adobe ISBN:


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According to kuhn (1970), science develops through a series of identifiable but unpredictable phases: pre-paradigmatic, normal science, and revolutionary science. These phases apply across the spectrum of scientific inquiry, and are not limited to the most grand (e.g., the Copernican revolution) of scientific domains. These phases also apply to more narrow areas of interest, such as addictive behaviour, generally, and gambling, specifically (Gambino and Shaffer, 1979; Shaffer, 1986; Shaffer and Gambino, 1979). During a pre-paradigm phase, researchers debate models, theories, and methods. This period is characterized by conflicting ideas and dissention among researchers. When a field adopts a shared perspective about its central matters (i.e., a paradigm), an era of ‘normal science’ commences. During normal science, a central paradigm guides research theory and methods, while simultaneously blinding people to alternative viewpoints.

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