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University of Sydney Study to Probe Gambling Mind-Set

Sun, May 12, 4:49pm by Kevin Pitstock

University of SydneyA researcher at the University of Sydney’s School of Psychology recently announced a new study which would probe the mind-set of problem gamblers. PhD candidate Michael Spurrier announced on May 10th he would begin a study of gamblers over 18 and encouraged those interested to participate by filling out an online survey.

The goal of the new research is to probe the minds of punters as they go through the gambling process.

What makes them hopeful of winning? What rationalization must happen to have confidence? How do their attitudes on gaming affect their decision? How do emotional issues affect their decision making? These are just a few of the thought processes researchers hope to probe.

Why Conduct a Study of Gambling?

Problem gambling cost the public nearly $4.7 billion a year. Approximately 500,000 Australians are problem gamblers or are at risk of becoming gambling addicts. While research on gambling has been conducted over the past few decades, next to nothing scientific is known about the addictive gambling mentality, says Michael Spurrier.

At the same time, researchers into the mentality behind alcohol addiction and drug addiction is quite advanced. This research can help fill in a gap of knowledge which has existed for too long. When interviewed, Michael Spurrier said, “What has received little attention is how gamblers perceive and weigh up risk when making decisions–though this seems to be important according to research in other areas of addiction like drug and alcohol abuse.”

What Gamblers Think

Addictive gamblers tend to be optimists about their chances. They consistently overestimate their ability to control outcomes. They also have an inflated idea of their chances to win. While many gamblers know the math behind the “house edge” or “payout percentage”, this isn’t internalized. Problem gamblers assume they somehow will be different. This study hopes to find out the underlying psychological and emotional states which foster these thoughts.

If you’re interested in the research, you can help to raise awareness by telling the researchers at the University Of Sydney School Of Psychology what you think and know. Those who consider problem gambling a major social ill should help further the knowledge of gaming attitudes, though I recommend filling out a questionnaire only if you are a gambler or punter yourself. The questionnaire is meant to gather from people their “perceptions and experiences of gambling”. Questions cover a wide range of gaming subjects, including gaming machines, internet gambling, sports betting, and horse racing.

Filling Out the Gambling Survey

To fill out the gambling survey, follow the link. The survey asks 52 questions and it’s estimated to take 10 to 20 minutes to complete. Those who finish can submit a name to enter a drawing to receive shopping vouchers.

Involvement is confidential and your identity will not be revealed. Submission of questionnaire indicates consent to be included the Michael Spurrier’s study. If you do not complete the full 52-question survey, the information will not be included in the study. The information given is voluntary, so you are under no obligation.

This study has no right or wrong answers. The survey is meant to collect information on real gambling habits, attitudes, and ideas about gambling. Answer truthfully and you might help further the cause of research on gambling psychology.

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