The relationship between gambling event frequency, motor response inhibition, arousal, and dissociative experience

Harris, A. ORCID: 0000-0001-9627-4900, Gous, G. ORCID: 0000-0002-7199-7333, De Wet, B. and Griffiths, M.D. ORCID: 0000-0001-8880-6524, 2021. The relationship between gambling event frequency, motor response inhibition, arousal, and dissociative experience. Journal of Gambling Studies, 37, pp. 241-268. ISSN 1050-5350

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Speed of play has been identified as a key structural characteristic in gambling behaviour, where games involving higher playing speeds enhance the experience of gambling. Of interest in the present study is the consistent finding that games with higher event frequencies are preferred by problem gamblers and are associated with more negative gambling outcomes, such as difficulty quitting the game and increased monetary loss. The present study investigated the impact of gambling speed of play on executive control functioning, focusing on how increased speeds of play impact motor response inhibition, and the potential mediating role arousal and dissociative experience play in this relationship. Fifty regular non-problem gamblers took part in a repeated-measures experiment where they gambled with real money on a simulated slot machine across five speed of play conditions. Response inhibition was measured using an embedded Go/No-Go task, where participants had to withhold motor responses, rather than operating the spin button on the slot machine when a specific colour cue was present. Results indicated that response inhibition performance was significantly worse during faster speeds of play, and that the role of arousal in this relationship was independent of any motor priming affect. The implications of these findings for gambling legislation and gambling harm-minimisation approaches are discussed.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Journal of Gambling Studies
Creators: Harris, A., Gous, G., De Wet, B. and Griffiths, M.D.
Publisher: Springer
Date: March 2021
Volume: 37
ISSN: 1050-5350
Rights: © The Author(s) 2020. Open Access. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 19 Jun 2020 08:49
Last Modified: 19 Feb 2021 15:37

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