Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 1–17 | Cite as

Locked Into Gambling: Anticipatory Regret as a Motivator for Playing the National Lottery

  • Sandy Wolfson
  • Pam Briggs


Four hundred and eighty-five people were asked about their intentions to play the National Lottery in England a week prior to the introduction of a new midweek draw. We predicted that those people who played the Saturday game with a regular set of numbers would be more inclined to play the new midweek game than those who had not established a routine of using the same set of numbers. We further predicted that their motivation to play would derive from a feeling of 'anticipatory regret'—a sense that they would find it intolerable to discover their regular numbers had been drawn when they hadn't purchased a ticket. Results supported both of these predictions, and an interpretation of the data is given in terms of the circumstances most likely to trigger such counterfactual reasoning.

gambling lottery counterfactual thinking anticipatory regret 


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of PsychologyUniversity of NorthumbriaNewcastle-upon-TyneEngland
  2. 2.University of NorthumbriaEngland

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