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Type: Journal article
Title: Numerical reasoning ability and irrational beliefs in problem gambling
Author: Lambos, C.
Delfabbro, P.
Citation: International Gambling Studies, 2007; 7(2):151-171
Publisher: Routledge
Issue Date: 2007
ISSN: 1445-9795
Statement of
Chrisi Lambos and Paul Delfabbro
Abstract: Numerous studies have shown that pathological gamblers are particularly prone to various cognitive biases that may explain why they continue to gamble despite having occurred substantial losses. A common explanation advanced to account for this finding is that pathological gamblers may have poorer numerical or statistical knowledge than other people. Addressing these deficits is therefore seen as one possible way in which to assist pathological gamblers or prevent the development of problematic behaviour within the broader community. The aim of this study was test this assumption by assessing the numerical reasoning skills, objective gambling knowledge and tendency towards biased reasoning in a sample of 90 regular poker-machine gamblers (pathological and non-pathological) and a non-gambling comparison group (n = 45). Analyses based on both group comparisons and regression analyses controlling for differences in educational attainment showed that pathological gamblers scored significantly higher on the cognitive biases measure than other gamblers. However, this difference could not be attributed to poorer knowledge of gambling odds or limited numerical ability among pathological gamblers. The findings suggest that educating pathological gamblers with greater knowledge about the odds of gambling is unlikely to be an effective harm minimisation strategy.
Description: © 2008 Informa plc
DOI: 10.1080/14459790701387428
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Psychology publications

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