Impaired Probability Estimation and Decision-Making in Pathological Gambling Poker Players
- 608 Downloads
Poker has gained tremendous popularity in recent years, increasing the risk for some individuals to develop pathological gambling. Here, we investigated cognitive biases in a computerized two-player poker task against a fictive opponent, among 12 pathological gambling poker players (PGP), 10 experienced poker players (ExP), and 11 inexperienced poker players (InP). Players were compared on probability estimation and decision-making with the hypothesis that ExP would have significantly lower cognitive biases than PGP and InP, and that the groups could be differentiated based on their cognitive bias styles. The results showed that ExP had a significantly lower average error margin in probability estimation than PGP and InP, and that PGP played hands with lower winning probability than ExP. Binomial logistic regression showed perfect differentiation (100%) between ExP and PGP, and 90.5% classification accuracy between ExP and InP. Multinomial logistic regression showed an overall classification accuracy of 23 out of 33 (69.7%) between the three groups. The classification accuracy of ExP was higher than that of PGP and InP due to the similarities in probability estimation and decision-making between PGP and InP. These impairments in probability estimation and decision-making of PGP may have implications for assessment and treatment of cognitive biases in pathological gambling poker players.
KeywordsDecision-making Gambling Cognitive bias Risk Poker
This research was supported by funding from the Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation grant number 2102-07-0004 and 10-088273, and from the Ministry of Interior and Health grant number 1001326.
- Braverman, J., & Shaffer, H. J. (2010). How do gamblers start gambling: identifying behavioural markers for high-risk internet gambling. European Journal of Public Health. doi: 10.1093/eurpub/ckp232.
- Goudriaan, A. E., Oosterlaan, J., de Beurs, E., & van den Brink, W. (2005). Decision making in pathological gambling: a comparison between pathological gamblers, alcohol dependents, persons with Tourette syndrome, and normal controls. Brain Research. Cognitive Brain Research, 23(1), 137–151.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Ladouceur, R. (2004). Gambling: The hidden addiction. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 49(8), 501–503.Google Scholar
- Lakey, C. E., Goodie, A. S., & Campbell, W. K. (2006). Frequent card playing and pathological gambling: The utility of the georgia gambling task and iowa gambling task for predicting pathology. Journal of Gambling Studies, 23(3), 285–297.Google Scholar
- Lakey, C. E., Goodie, A. S., Lance, C. E., Stinchfield, R., & Winters, K. C. (2007). Examining DSM-IV criteria for pathological gambling: Psychometric properties and evidence from cognitive biases. Journal of Gambling Studies, 23(4):479–498.Google Scholar
- Linnet, J., Møller, A., Peterson, E. A., Gjedde, A., & Doudet, D. (2010b). Inverse association between dopaminergic neurotransmission and Iowa Gambling Task performance in pathological gamblers and healthy controls. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology.Google Scholar