Anastasia Ejova

Anastasia Ejova
 Position Lecturer
 Org Unit School of Psychology
 Telephone +61 8 8313 7779
 Location Floor/Room 5 13 ,  Hughes ,   North Terrace
  • Biography/ Background

    My research interests are in three converging topic areas: functional somatic syndromes, gambling disorder, and the cognitive science of religion. With respect to somatic syndromes, I am investigating how neurophysiological recording tools (most notably, EEG and electrogastrography) might be used in studying immediate reactions to physical and psychological stress among people with conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome. Within the gambling field, I have been involved in projects on decision-making, impulsivity, online gambling, and the boundary between gambling and video-gaming. I also seek to apply what I'm learning through my research on decision-making and religion to developing a body of research on the extent to which concepts of luck are the same across cultures, borrowing from concepts of "randomness" on the one hand and "higher powers" on the other. My experience in studying functional somatic syndromes, which are often comorbid with anxiety, provides me with the tools for investigating which forms of gambling are particularly likely to be pursued for their ability to (temporarily) ease anxiety.

    I have ongoing collaborations with research teams at Macquarie University, the University of Auckland, the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and Masaryk University in the Czech Republic.

  • Awards & Achievements

    PhD, The University of Adelaide, 2013. Thesis title: "The illusion of control: influencing factors and underlying psychological processes"

    Bachelor of Psychology (Honours), The University of Adelaide, 2006 (University Medal)

    Australian Postgraudate Award, 2007

  • Teaching Interests

    I have taught courses in statistics, perception and cognition, and social and health psychology at second- and third-year levels.

  • Research Interests

    Everyone remembers where they were when they first heard about the "illusion of control". Or maybe it's just me. Certainly, Langer's (1975) finding that people place higher value on lottery tickets they have chosen than on tickets issued to them blindly is still a talking point among gambling and decision-making researchers. Traditionally, the illusion is defined as the overestimation of the degree of causal relationship between an applied strategy (e.g., choosing a lottery ticket based on a known lucky number) and desired outcomes.

    My PhD reseach, conducted under the supervision of Paul Delfabbro and Danielle Navarro, has been directed at making sense of decision-making and gambling-related research on the illusion of control. The decision-making literature has speculated about the psychological processes underlying the illusion, while the gambling literature has been rich in demonstrations of the illusion. Together, the literatures suggest that there is a strong relationship between the illusion and the well-known gambler's fallacy, the expectation that random outcomes do not feature overly long strings of any one outcome (e.g., 10 'Heads' in a row). The illusion also appears to be closely related to beliefs about luck and other 'supernatural' agents. I am interested in the implications of these connections for typologies of erroneous gambling-related beliefs, for how erroneous beliefs are discussed during therapy for problem-gambling, and for the methods used in researching the illusion of control experimentally.

    My broader research interests have to do with judgement and decision-making, and, in particular, the design of computerised laboratory tasks (e.g., gambling tasks) about which people have different 'prior beliefs'. I am also interested in the evolution of relgious beliefs, since I consider beliefs in luck to be an offshoot of such beliefs. Another interest of mine has to do with how our prior beliefs affect a whole host of health-related behaviours beyond gambling addiction.

  • Publications




    Ejova, A., & Ohtsuka, K. (2020). Erroneous gambling-related beliefs emerge from broader beliefs during problem-solving: A critical review and classification scheme. Thinking & Reasoning, 26, 159–187. Link


    Linhartová, P., Látalová, A., Barteček, R., Širůček, J., Theiner, P., Ejova, A., … & Kašpárek, T. (2019). Implusivity in patients with Borderline Personality Disorder: A comprehensive profile compared with healthy people and patients with ADHD. Psychological Medicine. Link

    Linhartová, P., Širůček, J., Ejova, A., Barteček, R., Theiner, P., & Kašpárek, T. (2019). Dimensions of impulsivity in healthy people, patients with borderline personality disorder, and patients with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Journal of Attention Disorders. Link

    Ejova, A. (2019). The illusion of control. In I. Church & R. Hartman (Eds.) The Routledge Handbook of Theories of Luck. Link


    Ejova, A., Delfabbro, P. H., & Navarro, D. J. (2015). Erroneous gambling-related beliefs as illusions of primary and secondary control: A confirmatory factor analysis. Journal of Gambling Studies, 31, 133-160. Link

    Ejova, A., Licehammerová, S., Chomynová, P., Leštinová, Z. T., & Mravčík, V. (2015). The risks of online gambling for younger males: Insights from Czech national surveys. In Pascaline Lorentz, David Smahel, Monika Metykova, & Michelle Wright (Eds.). Living in the Digital Age: Self-Presentation, Networking, Playing and Participating in Politics. Masaryk University Press. Link

    Ejova, A., Navarro, D. J., & Delfabbro, P. H. (2013). Success-slope effects on the illusion of control and on remembered success frequency. Judgment and Decision Making, 8, 498–511. Link

    King, D. L., Ejova, A., & Delfabbro, P. H. (2012). Illusory control, gambling, and video gaming: An investigation of regular gamblers and video game players. Journal of Gambling Studies, 28, 421-435. Link


    Social and therapeutic influences on wellbeing


    Ejova, A., Milojev, P., Worthington, E., Bulbulia, J., & Sibley, C. G. (in press). Church attendance buffers against longer-term mental distress. Religion, Brain and Behavior.

    Sibley, C. G., Afzali, M. U., Satherley, N., Ejova, A., Stronge, S., Yogeeswaran, K., Grimshaw, M., … & Bulbulia, J. (in press). Prejudice toward Muslims in New Zealand: Insights from the New Zealand Attitudes and Values Study. New Zealand Journal of Psychology. Link


    Stronge, S., Mok, T., Ejova, A., Lee, C., Zubielevitch, E., Yogeeswaran, K.,… Sibley, C. G. (2019). Social media use is (weakly) related to psychological distress. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, 22, 604-609. Link

    Ejova, A. (2019). Awe as a social emotion: An overview of insights from social neuroscience and Self-Categorisation Theory. e-Rhizome, 1, 160-166. Link


    Roberts, R. M., Ejova, A., Giallo, R., Strohm, K., & Lillie, M. (2016). Support group program for siblings of children with special needs: Predictors of improved emotional and behavioural functioning. Disability and Rehabilitation, 38, 2063-2072. Link

    Roberts, R. M., Ejova, A., Giallo, R., Strohm, K., Lillie, M., & Fuss, B. (2015). A controlled trial of the SibworkS group program for siblings of children with special needs. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 43, 21-31. Link


    Mental and physical symptom comorbidities


    Ejova, A., Milojev, P., Worthington, E., Bulbulia, J., & Sibley, C. G. (2020). The Big Six personality traits and mental distress: Dynamic modelling in a population panel study reveals bi-directional relationships involving Neuroticism, Extraversion and Conscientiousness. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. Link

    Mazor, Y., Prott, G. M., Sequeira, C., Jones, M. P., Ejova, A., Kellow, J. E., Schnitzler, M., & Malcolm, A. (2020). A novel combined anorectal biofeedback and percutaneous tibial nerve stimulation protocol for treating fecal incontinence. Therapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology. Link

    Mazor, Y., Prott, G., Jones, M., Ejova, A., Kellow, J., & Malcom, A. (2020). Factors associated with response to anorectal biofeedback therapy in patients with fecal incontinence. Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology. Link


    Mazor, Y., Prott, G., Jones, M., Kellow, J., Ejova, A., & Malcolm, A. (2019). Anorectal physiology in health: A randomized trial to determine the optimum catheter for the balloon expulsion test. Neurogastroenterology and Motility, 31. Link


    Mazor, Y., Ejova, A., Andrews, A., Jones, M., Kellow, J., & Malcolm, A. (2018). Long-term outcome of anorectal biofeedback for treatment of fecal incontinence. Neurogastroenterology and Motility, 30. Link

    Almenara, C. A., Aimé, A., Maïano, C., Ejova, A., Guèvremont, G., & Bournival, C. (2017). Weight stigmatization and disordered eating in obese women: The mediating effects of self-esteem and fear of negative appearance evaluation. European Review of Applied Psychology, 67, 155-162. Link


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Entry last updated: Thursday, 10 Jun 2021

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