Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 221–229 | Cite as

Differences in preferred level of arousal in two sub-groups of problem gamblers: A preliminary report

  • Nick Cocco
  • Louise Sharpe
  • Alex P. Blaszczynski
Brief Reports


Twelve problem poker machine players and thirteen horse race gamblers (20 males and 5 females; age range 28–69) completed a series of questionnaires which assessed levels of anxiety, their preferred state of arousal and their motivations to gamble. As predicted, problem poker machine gamblers were found to be more anxious and reported avoiding arousal more frequently than the horse race gamblers. Alternately, problem horse race gamblers were found to prefer heightened levels of arousal and appeared to gamble to achieve these optimal levels of arousal. However, there was no difference between the groups on proneness to boredom. The present results provide evidence which is consistent with the Reversal theory and its application to the field of problem gambling.


Optimal Level Preliminary Report Problem Gambler Prefer State Heighten Level 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nick Cocco
    • 1
  • Louise Sharpe
    • 2
  • Alex P. Blaszczynski
    • 3
  1. 1.Redfern Community Health CentreAustralia
  2. 2.Hounslow & Spelthorne NHS Trust, Clinical Psychology DepartmentWest Middlesex University HospitalIsleworthUK
  3. 3.Liverpool HospitalAustralia

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