Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 227–244 | Cite as

Children's Cognitive Perceptions of 6/49 Lottery Tickets

  • Jodi Herman
  • Rina Gupta
  • Jeffrey L. Derevensky
Article

Abstract

Recent studies have shown the high prevalence of youth gambling behavior. In particular, lottery ticket purchases among children and adolescents appear to be a highly preferred activity. Despite this fact, most research has focused on the underlying erroneous cognitions used by adults when selecting lottery tickets. This study examines the cognitive perceptions of children while engaged in selecting 6/49 lottery tickets. One hundred sixty-seven children (61 females; 106 males) from grades 3, 5, and 7 were asked to rank pre-selected 6/49 lottery tickets which were classified into a) long series, b) specific patterns, c) non equilibrated numbers, or d) perceived random selections. Children verbalized their rationale for selecting each ticket and were permitted to change the numbers on the lottery tickets they liked least in order to make them to more likely to be the winning ticket. Findings, in general, revealed small developmental differences in the types of underlying cognitive heuristics used by the children. The use of cognitive heuristics underlying the concept of randomness and the use of significant and meaningful numbers was observed to increase as children got older. Children between 9 and 11 were found to have employed the cluster heuristic more frequently than older children, ages 12–13. The results are interpreted in terms of the cognitive developmental changes in children's perceptions and the potential implication for gambling prevention programs are provided.

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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jodi Herman
    • 1
  • Rina Gupta
    • 1
  • Jeffrey L. Derevensky
    • 1
  1. 1.McGill UniversityUSA

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