Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 197–210 | Cite as

Impulsivity, Gambling Cognitions, and the Gambler’s Fallacy in University Students

  • Harvey H. C. Marmurek
  • Jessica Switzer
  • Joshua D’Alvise
Original Paper


The present study explored the associations among impulsivity, gambling cognitions, and behavioral adherence to the gambler’s fallacy in university students (N = 142). Both impulsivity and gambling cognitions were significant predictors of non-problem and problem gambler categories as defined the Problem Gambling Severity Index. A logistic regression analysis showed that the independent contribution of cognition was statistically significant but that the contribution of impulsivity was not. A behavioral measure of gambling was obtained by asking participants to play an online game of roulette for a maximum of 15 min. Only outside bets were permitted whereby participants were to bet on the color of the winning number. Adherence to the gambler’s fallacy was indexed by the likelihood of betting on an alternation in the color of the winning number as the number of consecutive outcomes of the other color increased. Gambling cognitions and gender, but not impulsivity, were associated with adherence to the gambler’s fallacy. Tracing the sources of specific influences on gambling behavior may benefit from a framework that distinguishes between “hot” (emotional) and “cold” (non-emotional) mechanisms that promote problem gambling.


Gambling severity Impulsivity Gambling cognitions Gambler’s fallacy Gender 



This research was funded by The Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre.

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harvey H. C. Marmurek
    • 1
  • Jessica Switzer
    • 1
    • 2
  • Joshua D’Alvise
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyThe University of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  3. 3.Department of Marketing and Consumer StudiesUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada

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