The influence of cognitive factors on pathological gambling

Tindara Caprì, Angela Foti, Rosa Angela Fabio, Annamaria Pugliese, Gabriella Martino


The purpose of this study wasto examine the role of cognitive factors, such as superstition, locus of control, decision-making and unrealistic optimism,on gambling.Eighty-six subjects participated in this study. They were divided into four groups: non-players, social players, problem gamblers, and pathological gamblers. Groups were formed on the basis of South Oaks Gambling Screen  Scale. Results showed that pathological gamblers group obtained a high superstition index. With reference to unrealistic optimism, gambler groupbelieved that they had a better chance of success compared to non-gamblers. They also showed a higher impulsivity index in decision making than non-gamblers. This study supports the idea that cognitive factors such as superstition, unrealistic optimism, impulsivity and external locus of control are involved in gambling.


gambling; locus of control; decisionmaking; superstition and unrealistic optimism

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