Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 357–375 | Cite as

Affect-Regulation Expectancies among Gamblers

  • N. Will Shead
  • David C. Hodgins
Original Paper


Factor scores on a gambling expectancy questionnaire (GEQ) were used to subtype 132 university students who gamble regularly (37.9% male; M age = 22.6 years, SD = 6.04) as: Reward Expectancy Gamblers (Reward EGs)—have strong expectations that gambling augments positive mood, Relief Expectancy Gamblers (Relief EGs)—have strong expectations that gambling relieves negative affect, and Non-Expectancy Gamblers (Non-EGs)—have neither strong expectation. Gambling on a high-low card game was compared across subtypes following priming for either “relief” or “reward” affect-regulation expectancies with the Scrambled Sentence Test (SST). The hypothesized Prime type × GEQ subtype interaction was not significant. When a more stringent set of criteria for GEQ subtyping was imposed, the “purified” sub-sample (n = 54) resulted in the hypothesized statistically significant Prime type × GEQ subtype interaction. Relief EGs gambled more after being primed with the construct “relief of negative emotions” compared to after being primed with the construct “augmentation of positive emotion.” Planned orthogonal contrasts showed a significant linear increase in number of bets made across GEQ subtypes when prime type corresponded to GEQ subtype. The results suggest a need for components in gambling treatment programs that address clients’ expectancies that gambling can provide a specific desirable emotional outcome.


Expectancies Affect-regulation Priming Gambling 



This research was supported by a grant from the Alberta Gaming Research Institute. Additional support was provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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