Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 17–28 | Cite as

Narrowing of Attention and Dissociation in Pathological Video Lottery Gamblers

  • Katherine M. Diskin
  • David C. Hodgins


The phenomena of attention and dissociation were investigated in pathological and occasional video lottery (VLT) gamblers. Twelve problem VLT gamblers [mean age 41.3; 6 male, 6 female; South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS; Lesieur & Blume, 1987) scores ≥ 5] were compared to a group of 11 occasional VLT gamblers, (mean age 31.9; 4 male, 7 female; SOGS scores < 5). Pathological gamblers were slower than occasional gamblers in reacting to irrelevant external light stimuli while playing on a demonstration video lottery terminal. They were significantly more likely to report more symptoms of general dissociation as measured by the Dissociative Experiences Scale (Bernstein & Putnam, 1986). The results suggest that pathological gamblers may experience a greater narrowing of attention than occasional gamblers when engaged in VLT play.


Pathological Gambler Light Stimulus Experience Scale South Oaks Gambling Screen Demonstration Video 
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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katherine M. Diskin
    • 1
  • David C. Hodgins
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CalgaryUSA

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