Submission Type

Presentation

Submission Title

Play responsibly? Perceptions of Warning Messages on Lottery Tickets

Session Title

Session 2-3-B: Responsible Gambling and Consumer Behavior

Location

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada

Start Date

29-5-2019 1:45 PM

End Date

29-5-2019 3:10 PM

Disciplines

Psychology

Abstract

Abstract:

In the United States, 62% of adults reported purchasing lottery tickets in the past year. For some, such gambling has been associated with negative consequences. To inform consumers and minimize negative consequences, responsible gambling messages often appear on lottery tickets. However, consumers’ reception, comprehension and perceived effectiveness of these messages have not been explored.

Our team recently completed two studies that examined consumers’ experience of warning messages commonly found on US lottery tickets. Across these studies, participants were given minimal instructions or told to search for two warning messages on the scratch off tickets. In study 1, participants’ handling of the lottery ticket was video recorded. In study 2, participants examined both sides of lottery tickets on a computer as their gaze was recorded using an eye tracking program. Participants’ perceptions of effectiveness of the two warning messages were then assessed.

In both studies, few participants identified warning messages regardless of the instructions or method for presenting the tickets. Subsequent assessment of their understanding and perception of warning messages questions whether the messages effectively warn consumers.

Implication:

These findings indicate that consumers are unlikely to receive the warning messages often found on scratch-off lottery tickets and that message presentation needs additional exploration. Further, the content of these messages does not appear to be effective in informing consumers of their potential risk.

Keywords

Gambling, warning messages, lottery tickets, Play responsibly, odds of winning, eye tracking

Author Bio

Qian Li is a doctoral student in Clinical Psychology at the University of Memphis. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Forensic Psychology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY in 2015. Her research interests center on understanding the interaction of gambling and gaming. She is also interested in reception, comprehension and perceived effectiveness of warning messages on various gambling activities.

Tori Horn, M. A., is a Ph.D. student in Clinical Psychology at the University of Memphis. She received her M. A. in Psychology from The New School for Social Research. Her research is primarily focused on concurrent alcohol and gambling behavior, specifically how it impacts the reception and recall of warning messages on electronic gambling machines.

Whitney C. Howie is a doctoral student in the Department of Psychology at the University of Memphis. She received her undergraduate degree from Rhode Island College with a double major in psychology and Spanish. She also received her Master of Public Health degree from Northeastern University. Whitney’s research interest includes psychosocial factors associated with health behaviors that increase the risk of obesity in African Americans and increasing access to mental health services for underrepresented populations.

Rimsha Majeed is a Masters student in the General Psychology program at the University of Memphis. She conducts assessment and research at The Trauma Research and Recovery Lab. Her current research is focused on the association of negative post-trauma cognition with co morbid disorder presentation. She has also been involved in research focusing effectiveness of warning messages on lottery tickets, at the Gambling lab.

Stephanie Huette PhD is an Assistant Professor at the University of Memphis in the department of Psychology. She is PI of the [L]anguage [A]nd [B]ehavior lab (LaBlab) that seeks to understand the principles and mechanisms of cognitive processes that underlie meaning and pragmatics in language and the interactions with behavior.

James P. Whelan, PhD is a Professor of Psychology and the Co-director of The Institute for Gambling Education and Research at The University of Memphis. Established in 1999, the Institute includes funding outpatient clinic for individuals experiencing a gambling disorder and a research lab where we conduct translational research about risk and protective factors for gambling problems as well as research on the assessment and treatment of disordered gambling.

Andrew Meyers, PhD (Pennsylvania State University, 1974) is Professor of Psychology at the University of Memphis. Over the past 28 years he has also served the university as department chairman and Vice President of Research. His primary research interest is on the assessment, prevention and treatment of problem gambling. He has over 150 publications on self-regulation, gambling, smoking, eating disorders, exercise and sport. Dr. Meyers is co-director of the Institute for Gambling Education and Research.

Funding Sources

N/A

Competing Interests

N/A

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May 29th, 1:45 PM May 29th, 3:10 PM

Play responsibly? Perceptions of Warning Messages on Lottery Tickets

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada

Abstract:

In the United States, 62% of adults reported purchasing lottery tickets in the past year. For some, such gambling has been associated with negative consequences. To inform consumers and minimize negative consequences, responsible gambling messages often appear on lottery tickets. However, consumers’ reception, comprehension and perceived effectiveness of these messages have not been explored.

Our team recently completed two studies that examined consumers’ experience of warning messages commonly found on US lottery tickets. Across these studies, participants were given minimal instructions or told to search for two warning messages on the scratch off tickets. In study 1, participants’ handling of the lottery ticket was video recorded. In study 2, participants examined both sides of lottery tickets on a computer as their gaze was recorded using an eye tracking program. Participants’ perceptions of effectiveness of the two warning messages were then assessed.

In both studies, few participants identified warning messages regardless of the instructions or method for presenting the tickets. Subsequent assessment of their understanding and perception of warning messages questions whether the messages effectively warn consumers.

Implication:

These findings indicate that consumers are unlikely to receive the warning messages often found on scratch-off lottery tickets and that message presentation needs additional exploration. Further, the content of these messages does not appear to be effective in informing consumers of their potential risk.