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Beliefs about gambling mediate the effect of cognitive style on gambling problems

journal contribution
posted on 20.06.2021, 23:29 authored by Tess ArmstrongTess Armstrong, Matthew RockloffMatthew Rockloff, Matthew BrowneMatthew Browne, Alexander Blaszczynski
Problem gambling is often accompanied by a range of irrational cognitions that promote excessive gambling. The cognitive basis for these beliefs has been largely overlooked in the gambling literature. Dual process theory suggests there are two parallel cognitive processing systems, an intuitive and an analytic system, and that there are potential individual differences in preference for one or the other cognitive style. The current study explored whether people’s cognitive styles are an important factor in the development of specific beliefs about gambling that in-turn contribute to gambling problems. The sample consisted of 1168 regular gamblers (539 female, ranging from 18 to 78 years of age; M = 35.47, SD = 10.78) recruited via Mechanical Turk. Participants completed a survey assessing cognitive style, problem gambling severity, and measures of protective and erroneous beliefs. In a path model, greater analytical thinking and lower intuitive thinking was associated with fewer erroneous gambling beliefs, which in turn were related to fewer gambling problems. A second model showed that protective beliefs also mediated the relationship between cognitive style and gambling, demonstrating that greater analytical thinking and lower intuitive thinking was associated with protective beliefs that similarly reduced problem gambling severity. Results suggest that a person’s cognitive style influences peoples gambling by contributing to the endorsement of irrational or unsafe beliefs about gambling. Encouraging people to think more analytically may be useful in reducing erroneous beliefs about gambling that promote problematic gambling behaviour.

Funding

Category 2 - Other Public Sector Grants Category

History

Volume

36

Issue

3

Start Page

871

End Page

886

Number of Pages

16

eISSN

1573-3602

ISSN

1050-5350

Location

United States

Publisher

Springer

Language

eng

Peer Reviewed

Yes

Open Access

No

External Author Affiliations

The University of Sydney

Era Eligible

Yes

Medium

Print

Journal

Journal of Gambling Studies