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It’s all about gains: Risk preferences in problem gambling

Ring, Patrick and Probst, Catharina C. and Neyse, Levent and Wolff, Stephan and Kaernbach, Christian and van Eimeren, Thilo and Camerer, Colin F. and Schmidt, Ulrich (2018) It’s all about gains: Risk preferences in problem gambling. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, 147 (8). pp. 1241-1255. ISSN 0096-3445. doi:10.1037/xge0000418.

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Problem gambling is a serious socioeconomic problem involving high individual and social costs. In this article, we study risk preferences of problem gamblers including their risk attitudes in the gain and loss domains, their weighting of probabilities, and their degree of loss aversion. Our findings indicate that problem gamblers are systematically more risk taking and less sensitive toward changes in probabilities in the gain domain only. Neither their risk attitudes in the loss domain nor their degree of loss aversion are significantly different from the controls. Additional evidence for a similar degree of sensitivity toward negative outcomes is gained from skin conductance data—a psychophysiological marker for emotional arousal—in a threat-of-shock task.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription ItemData
Neyse, Levent0000-0001-6005-579X
Camerer, Colin F.0000-0003-4049-1871
Additional Information:© 2018 American Psychological Association. We thank Jean-Claude Dreher and Guillaume Sescousse for comments on an earlier version of this manuscript. We also thank the editor and four anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments and suggestions, which helped us to improve the manuscript substantially. We are grateful to Nele Schmidt, Inken Tödt and Fanny Krause for conducting the psychological interviews. Research assistance by Tom Ehrhart, Adrian T. Lehrke, Milda Aleknonyte and Oxana Rave is gratefully acknowledged. The study is part of the project “Neurobiological Foundations of Economic Decision Making under Uncertainty and Excessive Risk Taking,” which is supported by the Leibniz Association (SAW-2013-IfW-2). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. Author contributions: U.S, T.v.E. and C.K. developed the study concept; all authors contributed to the study design; data collection was performed by C.C.P, L.N., S.W. and P.R.; P.R. performed the data analysis and drafted the manuscript under supervision of U.S. and C.F.C.; all authors provided critical revisions to the manuscript and approved its final version for submission. The authors declare that they have no competing interests.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Leibniz AssociationSAW-2013-IfW-2
Subject Keywords:Gambling; Probability Weighting; Risk; Addiction; Skin Conductance Responses
Issue or Number:8
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20180611-075457418
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:86956
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:11 Jun 2018 21:05
Last Modified:15 Nov 2021 20:43

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