Advertisement

Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 469–486 | Cite as

Animation-Based Education as a Gambling Prevention Tool: Correcting Erroneous Cognitions and Reducing the Frequency of Exceeding Limits Among Slots Players

  • Michael J. A. Wohl
  • Kelly-Lyn Christie
  • Kimberly Matheson
  • Hymie Anisman
Original Paper

Abstract

In light of the financial harm that often accompanies problem gambling, and the difficulty in resolving it, there is a pressing need for prevention resources. In the present study, we examined the preventive effects of an animation-based video that educated participants on how slot machines function, the prudence of setting financial limits, and strategies to avoid problems. Non-problem gamblers (N = 242) at a slots venue were randomly assigned to watch either an animation or a control video. Compared to participants who watched the control video, those who watched the animation endorsed strategies to gamble within financial limits, reported greater behavioral intentions to use the strategies, and exceeded their pre-set limits less frequently during their subsequent gambling session. Some effects waned over a 30-day period suggesting booster sessions may be required for long term sustainability. The effectiveness of animation-based education as a prevention tool and the need for adjunctive measures is discussed.

Keywords

Prevention Gambling Animation Exceeding limits Erroneous cognitions Slot machines 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by a research grant from the Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre (#2345) to Wohl, Anisman, and Matheson. We thank Rob Simpson for his contribution to all aspects of this research, including the creation of the animation.

References

  1. Bandura, A. (1977). Social learning theory. Oxford: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  2. Barker, J. C., & Miller, M. (1968). Aversion therapy for compulsive gamblers. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disorders, 146, 285–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Blaszcynski, A., & Nower, L. (2002). A pathways model of problem and pathological gambling. Addiction, 97, 487–499.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Blaszczynski, A. (2001). Harm minimization strategies in gambling: An overview of international initiatives and interventions. Melbourne: Australian Gaming Council.Google Scholar
  5. Botvin, G. J., Renick, N., & Baker, E. (1983). The effects of scheduling format and booster sessions on a broad spectrum psychosocial approach to smoking prevention. Journal of Behavioral Medicine, 6, 359–379.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Breen, R., & Zimmerman, M. (2002). Rapid onset of pathological gambling in machine gamblers. Journal of Gambling Studies, 18, 31–43.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Cotler, S. B. (1971). The use of different behavioral techniques in treating a case of compulsive gambling. Behavior Therapy, 2, 579–584.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Delfabbro, P., Lahn, J., & Grabosky, P. (2006). It’s not what you know, but how you use it: Statistical knowledge and adolescent problem gambling. Journal of Gambling Studies, 22, 179–193.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dickson-Gillespie, L., Rugle, L., Rosenthal, R., & Fong, T. (2008). Preventing the incidence and harm of gambling problems. The Journal of Primary Prevention, 29, 37–55.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Dowling, N., Smith, D., & Thomas, T. (2005). Electronic gaming machines: Are they the “crack cocaine” of gambling”. Addiction, 100, 33–45.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. Epstein, J., & McGaha, A. C. (1999). ATOD-TV: Evaluation of a multimedia program designed to educate the public about substance abuse. Computers in Human Behaviour, 15, 73–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ferland, F., Ladouceur, R., & Vitaro, F. (2002). Prevention of problem gambling: Modifying misconception and increasing knowledge. Journal of Gambling Studies, 18, 19–30.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Ferris, J., & Wynne, H. (2001). The Canadian problem gambling index: Final report. Ottawa: Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse.Google Scholar
  14. Freidenberg, B. M., Blanchard, E. B., Wulfert, E., & Malta, L. S. (2002). Changes in physiological arousal to gambling cues among participants in motivationally enhanced cognitive behavior therapy for pathological gambling: A preliminary study. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 27, 251–260.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Hogarth, R. M. (1975). Cognitive processes and the assessment of subjective probability distributions. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 70, 271–289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Jefferson, S., & Nicki, R. (2003). A new instrument to measure cognitive distortions in video lottery terminal users: The Informational Biases Scale (IBS). Journal of Gambling Studies, 19, 387–403.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Korn, D., & Shaffer, H. (1999). Gambling and the health of the public: Adopting a public health perspective. Journal of Gambling Studies, 15, 289–365.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Ladouceur, R., Sylvain, C., Boutin, C., & Doucet, C. (2002). Understanding and treating the pathological gambler. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  19. Lowe, R. K. (1999). Extracting information from an animation during complex visual learning. European Journal of Psychology of Education, 14, 225–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Marshall, K., & Wynne, H. (2004). Against the odds: A profile of at-risk and problem gamblers. Canadian Social Trends, 73. Retrieved December 6, 2008 from www.statcan.ca
  21. Matheson, K., Wohl, M. J. A., & Anisman, H. (in press). The interplay of appraisals, specific coping styles, and depressive symptoms among young male and female gamblers. Social Psychology. Google Scholar
  22. Mayer, R., & Moreno, R. (2002). Animation as an aid to multimedia learning. Educational Psychology Review, 14, 87–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Petry, N. M., & Pietrzak, R. H. (2004). Comorbidity of substance use and gambling disorders. In H. R. Kranzler & J. Tinsley (Eds.), Dual diagnosis and psychiatric treatment: Substance abuse and comorbid disorders (pp. 437–459). New York: Marcel Dekker.Google Scholar
  24. Schellinck, T., & Schrans, T. (1998). Nova Scotia Video Lottery players’ survey. Halifax, NS: Report for the Nova Scotia Department of Health.Google Scholar
  25. Sevigny, S., & Ladouceur, R. (2004). Gamblers’ irrational thinking about chance events: The ‘‘double switching’’ concept. International Gambling Studies, 3, 163–170.Google Scholar
  26. Sharpe, L., & Tarrier, N. (1993). Towards a cognitive-behavioural therapy of problem gambling. British Journal of Psychiatry, 162, 407–412.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Strickler, Z., Lin, C., Rauh, C., & Neafsey, P. (2008). Educating older adults to avoid harmful self-medication. Journal of Communication in Healthcare, 1, 110–128.Google Scholar
  28. Sylvain, C., Ladouceur, R., & Boisvert, J. M. (1997). Cognitive and behavioral treatment of pathological gambling: A controlled study. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 65, 727–732.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Toneatto, T., Blitz-Miller, T., Calderwood, K., Dragonetti, R., & Tsanos, A. (1997). Cognitive distortions in heavy gambling. Journal of Gambling Studies, 13, 253–266.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Tversky, A., & Kahneman, D. (1992). Advances in prospect theory: Cumulative representation of uncertainty. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, 5, 297–323.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Volberg, R. A. (2002). Gambling and problem gambling in Nevada. Report to the Nevada Department of Human Resources. Carson City, NV: Department of Human Resources.Google Scholar
  32. Walker, M. (1992). The psychology of gambling. New York: Pergamon.Google Scholar
  33. Wiebe, J., Mun, P., & Kauffman, N. M. A. (2005). Gambling and problem in Ontario 2005. Ontario: Responsible Gambling Council.Google Scholar
  34. Williams, R. J., & Connolly, D. (2006). Does learning about the mathematics of gambling change gambling behavior? Psychology of Addictive Behaviours, 20, 62–68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Williams, R. J., Connolly, D., Wood, R., Currie, S., & Davis, R. M. (2004). Program findings that inform curriculum development for the prevention of problem gambling. Gambling Research, 16, 47–69.Google Scholar
  36. Williams, R. J., & Wood, R. (2003). The demographics of Ontario gaming revenue. Retrieved December 06, 2008 from www.gamblingresearch.org
  37. Witte, K. (1992). The role of threat and efficacy in AIDS prevention. International Quarterly of Community Health Education, 12, 225–249.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Wohl, M. J. A., & Enzle, M. E. (2002). The deployment of personal luck: Sympathetic magic and illusory control in games of pure chance. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 1388–1397.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Wohl, M. J. A., & Enzle, M. E. (2003). The effects of near wins and losses on self-perceived personal luck and subsequent gambling behaviour. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 39, 184–191.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Young, M. M., Wohl, M. J. A., Matheson, K., Bauman, S., & Anisman, H. (2008). The desire to gamble: The influence of outcomes on the priming effects of a gambling episode. Journal of Gambling Studies, 24, 79–90.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael J. A. Wohl
    • 1
  • Kelly-Lyn Christie
    • 1
  • Kimberly Matheson
    • 1
  • Hymie Anisman
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyCarleton UniversityOttawaCanada

Personalised recommendations