Submission Type

Poster

Submission Title

Cognitive and Personality Correlates of Sports Gamblers

Session Title

Mid-morning Break and Poster Sessions: FEATURED POSTERS

Location

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada

Start Date

29-5-2019 10:25 AM

End Date

29-5-2019 11:00 AM

Disciplines

Cognitive Psychology

Abstract

The scope of this study was to gain a better understanding of the cognitive (style of thinking: rational vs. intuitive) and personality (impulsivity) correlates of sports bettors. Population prevalence estimates of sports betting range from 6% to 13%. In Australia, past year prevalence of sports betting among internet gamblers is about 50% and only 15% among non-internet gamblers. Current research has not identified any unique psychological patterns among sports betters across those two modes of placing bets. We also sought to determine whether sports betting was central to a person's self-perception and how those self-perceptions related to problem gambling. Because of the low rates of sports betting in the general population, we recruited a purposive sample of more than 1000 (575 females) self-identified sports gamblers who completed an online survey. The guiding hypothesis was that the ratio of sports betting expenditures relative to expenditures on all other forms of gambling would correlate with cognitive, personality and motivational factors known to moderate problem gambling severity. Among the significant findings was that the centrality of sports gambling to a person's identify correlated strongly with problem gambling severity, r = .57, p <.001). Although problem gambling was more severe for males than for females, the relationship between centrality of sports gambling to self-identity and problem gambling severity was not dependent on gender.

Implications: Although gambling is common in the general population, various forms of gambling (e.g., internet gambling) are predictive of problem gambling. The overarching goal of this research program is to examine whether sports gamblers may be characterized by a unique profile of cognitive and personality characteristics. Problem gamblers who engage extensively in sports betting may require interventions specifically designed to minimize harm emerging from that profile.

Keywords

sports gambling, internet, cognition, impulsivity, motivation, self-concept

Author Bio

Harvey Marmurek (PhD, Ohio State) is Professor of Psychology at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada. Dr. Marmurek studies human cognition and risk-taking. Prior work related to the current presentation focused on environmental design effects on risk-taking in a gambling setting and the individual differences among gamblers that moderate those effects.

Alysha Coopoer (BSc, Univ of Guelph) is currently a graduate student in the Statistics Department at the University of Guelph. Ms. Cooper completed an undergraduate thesis on cognitive models of memory. Her MSc thesis will involve a biostatistical analysis of mental health determinants.

Katrina Olfert (BSc, University of Guelph, is currently a graduate student in the Mathematics Department at the University of Guelph. Her undergraduate thesis focused on quantum computing. Her MSc thesis will extend that work to the topic of quantum information privacy.

Funding Sources

This project is funded by Gambling Research Exchange Ontario (GREO). GREO invited external peer reviews of the proposal for this project in a competitive (20% success rate) solicitation for funding opportunities. Beyond funding the project, GREO has no involvement in methodology, research conduct, or analysis of results.

Competing Interests

None

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May 29th, 10:25 AM May 29th, 11:00 AM

Cognitive and Personality Correlates of Sports Gamblers

Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nevada

The scope of this study was to gain a better understanding of the cognitive (style of thinking: rational vs. intuitive) and personality (impulsivity) correlates of sports bettors. Population prevalence estimates of sports betting range from 6% to 13%. In Australia, past year prevalence of sports betting among internet gamblers is about 50% and only 15% among non-internet gamblers. Current research has not identified any unique psychological patterns among sports betters across those two modes of placing bets. We also sought to determine whether sports betting was central to a person's self-perception and how those self-perceptions related to problem gambling. Because of the low rates of sports betting in the general population, we recruited a purposive sample of more than 1000 (575 females) self-identified sports gamblers who completed an online survey. The guiding hypothesis was that the ratio of sports betting expenditures relative to expenditures on all other forms of gambling would correlate with cognitive, personality and motivational factors known to moderate problem gambling severity. Among the significant findings was that the centrality of sports gambling to a person's identify correlated strongly with problem gambling severity, r = .57, p <.001). Although problem gambling was more severe for males than for females, the relationship between centrality of sports gambling to self-identity and problem gambling severity was not dependent on gender.

Implications: Although gambling is common in the general population, various forms of gambling (e.g., internet gambling) are predictive of problem gambling. The overarching goal of this research program is to examine whether sports gamblers may be characterized by a unique profile of cognitive and personality characteristics. Problem gamblers who engage extensively in sports betting may require interventions specifically designed to minimize harm emerging from that profile.