Risk-taking behavior in gamblers and non-gamblers during prolonged exposure
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Most comparisons between personality traits of gamblers and non-gamblers have yielded no significant differences (Kusyszyn & Rutter, 1985). But from a behavioral standpoint, gamblers have consistently placed heavier monetary bets than non-gamblers. Furthermore, past researchers have clearly shown that the level of risk-taking behavior increased as a function of the number of trials (Ladouceur, Tourigny, & Mayrand, in press). The present research compared the level of risk-taking behavior of gamblers and non-gamblers during prolonged exposure to American roulette (four sessions of 50 trials each). Subjects of each group (N=8) were matched on sex, age and academic level. Risk behavior was operationally defined as 1. Total amount of money bet at each trial; 2. types of bets; and 3. monetary risk coefficient. The statistical analysis of the results showed that the monetary risk coefficient was greater for the gamblers than the non-gamblers. Furthermore, for the three dependent variables, risk level increased as a function of the number of sessions and of trials. The overall results confirmed that exposure to gambling activities increased the level of monetary risk-taking behavior in gamblers and non-gamblers.
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