Persistence, frustration and music in gambling: How cognitive overload can help problem gamblers

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Leamen, Angel
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University of Guelph

The current study examined the influence of frustration and regret on gambling. Applying Amsel's Frustrative Non-reward theory (1958), it was hypothesized that subjects who were reinforced less would persist in betting longer than those who won more frequently. Secondly, the influence of music on the frustration of gamblers was explored to determine if it enhanced or reduced the associations between frustration and reward, and thus affect persistence. A 3x3 (reinforcement x music) between subjects design was implemented using N=173. Participants played an online simulated slot machine. Results indicated that those who heard sedative music (low cognitive load) gambled longer than those who heard stimulative music (high cognitive load), and those who displayed no/low risk problem gambling behaviours played fewer minutes than problem gamblers. A significant interaction between reinforcement, music and gambler type was found. There was also a floor effect found for regret. Implications for problem gambling interventions are discussed.

frustration, regret, reward, gambling, Amsel's Frustrative Non-reward theory, reinforcement, music, gambler type, floor effect, problem gambling interventions