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J Gambl Stud. 2012 Sep;28(3):351-62. doi: 10.1007/s10899-011-9269-6.

Multidimensional comparison of personality characteristics of the Big Five model, impulsiveness, and affect in pathological gambling and obsessive-compulsive disorder.

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Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences-World Class University program, Seoul National University College of Natural Sciences, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


The phenomenological resemblance between pathological gambling (PG) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) has led to suggestions that PG be categorized as an obsessive-compulsive-spectrum disorder (OCSD). This study aimed to explore whether PG resembles OCD in terms of personality and temperament. Fifteen patients with PG, 18 patients with OCD, and 33 healthy control subjects were included in the study. The study subjects were all male and drug naïve. We analyzed data obtained from three self-report questionnaires assessing personality, impulsiveness, and affect: the short version of the NEO Personality Inventory-Revised (NEO-PI-R), the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-11 (BIS-11), and the Positive Affect and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS). Participants with PG and OCD demonstrated less conscientiousness (F = 7.089, P = .002) and less openness to experience (F = 6.268, P = .003) and less positive affect (F = 15.816, P < .001) than did healthy controls. The two diagnostic groups did not differ from each other with respect total BIS-11 scores, but those with OCD showed more neuroticism than did those with PG and healthy controls ( F = 9.556, P < .001), and those with PG obtained higher scores on the non-planning impulsiveness factor of BIS-11 than did those with OCD or healthy controls ( F = 9,835, P < .001). PG and OCD share similar profiles in terms of personality and temperament. This study provides phenomenological evidence supporting the conceptualization of PG as an OCSD.

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