Effect of within-session breaks in play on responsible gambling behaviour during sustained monetary losses

Adrian Parke, Patrick Dickinson, Louise O’Hare, Liam Wilson, Greg Westerman-Hughes, Kathrin Gerling

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Abstract

Rapid, continuous gambling formats are associated with higher risks for gambling-related harm in terms of excessive monetary and time expenditure. The current study investigated the effect on gambling response latency and persistence, of a new form of within-game intervention that required players to actively engage in response inhibition via monitoring for stop signals. Seventy-four experienced electronic gaming machine gamblers, with a mean age of 35.28 years, were recruited to participate in a rapid, continuous gambling task where real money could be won and lost. Participants were randomly allocated to either the control condition where no intervention was presented, or either a condition with a passive three minute break in play or a condition with a three minute intervention that required participants to engage in response inhibition. Although there was no main effect for experimental condition on gambling persistence, both interventions were effective in elevating response latency during a period of sustained losses. It was concluded that within-game interventions that create an enforced break in play are effective in increasing response latency between bets during periods of sustained losses. Furthermore, within-game interventions that require active involvement appear to be more effective in increasing response latency than standard, passive breaks in play.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages13
JournalCurrent Psychology
Early online date12 Dec 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 12 Dec 2019

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Keywords

  • Problem gambling
  • Response latency
  • Within-game intervention
  • Persistence
  • Impulsivity

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