Gambling Addicts Tend to Be Impulsive and Believe in Superstition

By Staff Writer

Unchecked impulsivity and flawed reasoning related to superstitious beliefs may be two of the main characteristics of a person suffering gambling addiction, according to a new study from a team of researchers from the University of Cambridge in the UK. The findings may help in determining who should seek addiction treatment for the problem.

After talking to a group of individuals who were being treated at a rehab facility for compulsive gambling, the researchers began to notice that many of the patients had similar patterns of thought. Several believed that their loss in gambling could be chalked up to “cold slot machines” or simply a run of bad luck that could easily be turned around.

Furthermore, the team found that a number of the patients were extremely impulsive in their behavior. The findings may show that this type of impulsivity and recourse to belief in superstition may contribute to a person’s overall risk of becoming addicted to gambling.

The researchers said that they hope the results of their study could be used to advance the treatment of compulsive gamblers by identifying problems and enabling addiction treatment professionals to address them.