Slot Machine Response Frequency Predicts Pathological Gambling

Jakob Linnet, Kristine Rømer Thomsen, Arne Møller, Mette Buhl Callesen

Abstract


Slot machines are among the most addictive forms of gambling, and pathological gambling slot machine players
represent the largest group of treatment seekers, accounting for 35% to 93% of the population. Pathological
gambling sufferers have significantly higher response frequency (games / time) on slot machines compared with
non-problem gamblers, which may suggest increased reinforcement of the gambling behavior in pathological
gambling. However, to date it is unknown whether or not the increased response frequency in pathological
gambling is associated with symptom severity of the disorder. This study tested the hypothesis that response
frequency is associated with symptom severity in pathological gambling. We tested response frequency among
twenty-two pathological gambling sufferers and twenty-one non-problem gamblers on a commercially available
slot machine, and screened for pathological gambling symptom severity using the South Oaks Gambling Screen
(SOGS). The results showed that pathological gambling sufferers had significantly higher response frequency
than non-problem gamblers, and that response frequency was significantly correlated with SOGS symptom
severity among pathological gambling sufferers. Finally, binary logistic regression showed that response
frequency accurately identified 21 (95.5%) pathological gambling sufferers and 18 (85.7%) non-problem
gamblers. The correlation between response frequency and SOGS may suggest a stronger reinforcement of
gambling behavior in individuals with exacerbated pathological gambling symptoms. These findings may have
important implications for detecting behaviors underlying pathological gambling.

Full Text: PDF DOI: 10.5539/ijps.v5n1p121

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

International Journal of Psychological Studies   ISSN 1918-7211 (Print)   ISSN 1918-722X (Online)

Copyright © Canadian Center of Science and Education

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the 'ccsenet.org' domain to your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.