Gamblers with the highest levels of impulsivity appear to be more prone to errors in reasoning associated with gambling, such as superstitious behaviors (carrying a lucky charm) and blaming losses on poor luck or “cold” machines, according to a new study led by the University of Cambridge.
Researchers from Cambridge and Imperial College London observed and compared 30 compulsive gamblers who were seeking treatment at the National Problem Gambling Clinic with 30 non-gamblers from the general population.
“The link between impulsivity and gambling beliefs suggests to us that high impulsivity can predispose a range of more complex distortions — such as superstitions — that gamblers often experience. Our research helps fuse these two likely underlying causes of problem gambling, shedding light on why some people are prone to becoming pathological gamblers,” said researcher Luke Clark, Ph.D.
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