Animation-based education as a gambling prevention tool: Correcting erroneous cognitions and reducing the frequency of exceeding limits among slots players

Abstract

In light of the financial harm that often accompanies problem gambling, and the difficulty in resolving it, there is a pressing need for prevention resources. In the present study, we examined the preventive effects of an animation-based video that educated participants on how slot machines function, the prudence of setting financial limits, and strategies to avoid problems. Non-problem gamblers {(N} = 242) at a slots venue were randomly assigned to watch either an animation or a control video. Compared to participants who watched the control video, those who watched the animation endorsed strategies to gamble within financial limits, reported greater behavioral intentions to use the strategies, and exceeded their pre-set limits less frequently during their subsequent gambling session. Some effects waned over a 30-day period suggesting booster sessions may be required for long term sustainability. The effectiveness of animation-based education as a prevention tool and the need for adjunctive measures is discussed.

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