Frequent Card Playing and Pathological Gambling: The Utility of the Georgia Gambling Task and Iowa Gambling Task for Predicting Pathology
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The current investigation examined performance on two laboratory-based gambling tasks, the Georgia Gambling Task (GGT; Goodie, 2003. The effects of control on betting: Paradoxical betting on items of high confidence with low value. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 29, 598–610) and the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT; Bechara, Damasio, Damasio, & Anderson, 1994. Insensitivity to future consequences following damage to human prefrontal cortex. Cognition, 50, 7–15), as well as self-reported markers of gambling pathology using the Diagnostic Interview for Gambling Severity (DIGS; Winters, Specker, & Stinchfield, 2002. The downside: Problem and pathological gambling (pp. 143–148). Reno, NV: University of Nevada, Reno) among a sample of undergraduate students who are frequent card players. Two hundred twenty-one participants (55 female and 166 male; mean age 19.21 years) who self-classified as playing cards at least once per month completed these measures. Performance on GGT and IGT systematically related to gambling-related pathology in several ways. Overconfidence and bet acceptance on the GGT, and myopic focus on reward on the IGT, predicted gambling related pathology. GGT and IGT performance correlated with each other, but both contributed independently to predicting gambling pathology. Card playing frequency predicted gambling pathology but not GGT or IGT performance. Discussion focuses on the role of biases of judgment and risky decision making in pathological gambling.
KeywordsOverconfidence Risk taking Georgia Gambling Task Iowa Gambling Task Pathological gambling
This research was supported by National Institute of Mental Health research grant MH067827 to ASG.
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