Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 26, Issue 2, pp 301–329 | Cite as

Thirty Years of Lottery Public Health Research: Methodological Strategies and Trends

  • Debi A. LaPlante
  • Heather M. Gray
  • Leslie Bosworth
  • Howard J. Shaffer
Original Paper


Cognitive measurement techniques, such as self-reports of behavior and reaction time measures, largely dominate the field of psychological research. It is uncommon for researchers to examine a phenomenon of interest by observing actual behavior within natural settings. To illustrate the existence of this methodological trend for gambling research, this article reviews systematically selected samples of the peer-reviewed literature related to lottery gambling in general and the literature related to pathological gambling and lottery more specifically. The results indicate that self-report surveys dominate the extant lottery literature, and experimental investigations of video lottery terminal gambling supplement those papers. This landscape encourages researchers to expand their methodological approaches to the study of lottery gambling. Currently, we know more about what research participants tell us they do with respect to lottery gambling than we do about their real-life lottery gambling behavior.


Gambling Gambling problems Lottery Review Methodology 



This paper is a product of the Division on Addictions. The National Center for Responsible Gaming provided support for this paper. We extend thanks to Christine Reilly and Christine Thurmond for their contributions to this project.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Debi A. LaPlante
    • 1
  • Heather M. Gray
    • 1
  • Leslie Bosworth
    • 2
  • Howard J. Shaffer
    • 1
  1. 1.Division on Addictions, Cambridge Health AllianceHarvard Medical SchoolMedfordUSA
  2. 2.Division on AddictionsCambridge Health AllianceMedfordUSA

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