Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 24, Issue 3, pp 257–274 | Cite as

A Canadian Population Level Analysis of the Roles of Irrational Gambling Cognitions and Risky Gambling Practices as Correlates of Gambling Intensity and Pathological Gambling

  • Natalie V. Miller
  • Shawn R. Currie
Original Paper


Using population data (N = 11,562) drawn from five Canadian gambling prevalence surveys conducted between 2000 and 2005, the current study investigated the relationship between irrational gambling cognitions and risky gambling practices upon (a) gambling intensity, as measured by percent of income spent on gambling and (b) tolerance, a diagnostic indicator of pathological gambling. First, we found irrational gambling cognitions and risky gambling practices to be positively related. Second, irrational gambling cognitions moderated the relationship between risky gambling practices and gambling intensity. Specifically, people engaging in risky practices, spent less of their income on gambling when they had fewer irrational gambling cognitions compared to those with more irrational cognitions. Third, irrational gambling cognitions moderated the relationship between risky gambling practices and tolerance. Of the people engaging in risky practices, those with no irrational cognitions reported lower levels of tolerance than those with at least one irrational cognition. Interactions with gender are reported and discussed. These findings demonstrate the importance of both gambling cognitions and gambling practices upon the intensity of gambling and pathological gambling.


Cognition Gambling behaviors Tolerance Gambling intensity Pathological gambling 



This project was funded by the Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre (Grant # 2475). The authors wish to acknowledge the assistance of Jill Browne who helped in manuscript preparation, and Jeanne Williams who helped with data analyses.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Mental Health Information and Evaluation UnitCalgary Health Region, Mental Health and Addictions ServicesCalgaryCanada

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