The Queen’s Gambit Behavior Analysis: Psychology of Beth’s Drug Addiction and Chess Hallucinations

The Queen’s Gambit (2020) depicts a behavioral process of addiction very well (behaviorism psychology).
How does Beth develop and overcome her addiction?
And how is her chess hallucination related to her drug use?
Here I provide Behavior Analysis of Beth’s drug and alcohol addiction!


Lazy Walk by Cheel at YouTube Audio Library


  1. I used this to help my college assignment of a case study analysis of a fictional character! Thanks!

  2. I've seen that word "hallucination" used a lot and it sort of bugs me. Are you sure you don't mean "visualization", a deliberative thinking process as opposed to "hallucination", an unwanted intrusion into your senses?Also, I read the book, and I wonder if you would like to review it. It has some differences. It also shows fear and anger playing a large part in her motivations, but differently. It covers addiction from the addicts point of view. It shows her following rules in her use of tranquilizers, such as not within 12 hours of a chess match, and it shows her testing herself and her state of addiction. At the nadir she actively seeks help which is how Jolene comes back into the picture. What follows is months of work. The author was himself an addict.

  3. Perfect analysis! I like you pointed out coping mechanism and how environment can shape our behavior

  4. It is a great analysis. I am surprised that she recovered quite quickly. I thought it would take longer.

  5. Love your thought about growth and how replacing coping mechanisms with learned skills and confidence in one's self can lead to feelings of euphoria! Brilliant and practical!!

  6. What an excellent and plain analysis, doctor!
    Happy to found your channel (Bearded Behaviorist brought me here).


    (nerdy stuff following) How could we express a bit more behaviorally the relation you mentioned about self-confidence and chess "hallucinations"? Could it be that success (i.e., reinforcement) reduces anxiety levels and intrusive thoughts, which may compete with chess "hallucinating" behavior? And maybe self-confidence is an accompanying feeling and/or verbal label.

  7. Hi Dr. Sho! That was an excellent content of the Queen’s Gambit! Im just curious and want to know your take. So Beth went to Paris (btw I have not watched The Queen’s Gambit) and now she has a different perspective of the drugs. Does this work for most people? Also with Beth having the same coping mechanism by hugging her mom’s dress. Are these type of outlets the best solutions for addictions? Do you also think it'll work with food or sex addictions? Thanks Dr. Sho!

  8. Sho sensei,
    If you may I would like to request your analysis of an anime titled Welcome to the NHK. I am certainly grateful to hear your insights and advice as a behaviorist on the issues presented in the anime.
    Arigato-gozaimasu in advance sensei

  9. May I request your analysis about Berserk Anime

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