The relationship between gambling affinity, impulsivity, sensation seeking, superstition, and irrational beliefs: An empirical study among committed gamblers


  • Richard Morris Nottingham Trent University
  • Mark Griffiths Nottingham Trent University


Much of the psychological research on individual gamblers has examined a range of personality characteristics (e.g., sensation seeking, impulsivity) and other characteristics associated with gambling (e.g., superstition). The current study sought to examine the relationship between gambling affinity and superstition, paranormal beliefs, irrational beliefs about gambling, sensation seeking and impulsivity. A sample of 329 of mainly ‘committed’ gamblers participated in a cross-sectional survey employing a wide range of validated psychometric measures. Results showed that gambling affinity was positively correlated with all measures of irrational beliefs, sensation seeking and impulsivity. High affinity gamblers were significantly more likely to endorse superstitious and irrational beliefs, and to score higher in sensation seeking than low affinity gamblers. Superstition, sensation seeking, impulsivity, and irrational beliefs about gambling predicted 32.5% of the variance in gambling affinity. Only impulsivity was a non-significant predictor and may therefore be a mediator between other factors and gambling affinity. 

Biografía del autor/a

Mark Griffiths, Nottingham Trent University

Dr. Mark Griffiths is a Chartered Psychologist and Professor of Gambling Studies at the Nottingham Trent University, and Director of the International Gaming Research Unit. He has published over 400 refereed research papers, three books, 120+ book chapters and over 1000 other articles. He has won 14 national and international awards for his work. He also does a lot of freelance journalism and has appeared on over 2500 radio and television programmes. Correspondence to: Mark Griffiths, Psychology Division, Nottingham Trent University, Burton Street, Nottingham, NG1 4BU, UK. E-mail: