Arousal, sensation seeking and frequency of gambling in off-course horse racing bettors

Abstract

Heart rate was recorded in a sample of 32 off-course horse racing bettors before, during and after the gambling process, together with sensation seeking and information regarding frequency and expenditure on gambling. Importantly, the present study controlled for the confounding effects of movement on heart rate present in previous studies. Significant differences within subjects were found for heart rate at different points in the gambling process, but no differences were found comparing high- and low-frequency gamblers or gamblers that chase with those that don't chase. These findings are discussed in relation to the theoretical role of arousal and sensation seeking in the explanation of gambling behaviour.

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