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Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2013 Oct;39(10):1259-67. doi: 10.1177/0146167213492431. Epub 2013 Jun 24.

"Show me the money": vulnerability to gambling moderates the attractiveness of money versus suspense.

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1University of Virginia, Charlottesville, USA.


Do people take risks to obtain rewards or experience suspense? We hypothesized that people vulnerable to gambling are motivated more by the allure of winning money whereas people less vulnerable to gambling are motivated more by the allure of suspense. Consistent with this hypothesis, participants with high scores on a subscale of the Gambling Attitudes and Beliefs Survey--a measure of vulnerability to gambling--reported more of a motivation to earn money (pilot study), were more likely to accept a certain or near-certain amount of money than to gamble for that same amount (Studies 1-2), and worked harder to earn money (Study 3). People vulnerable to gambling also made more accurate predictions about how much they would gamble. People less vulnerable to gambling, in contrast, gambled more than people vulnerable to gambling, but did not know that they would.


affective forecasting; gambling; individual differences; reward; risk-taking

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