Effects of gambling-related cues on the activation of implicit and explicit gambling outcome expectancies in regular gamblers


The current research examined whether the presentation of gambling-related cues facilitates the activation of gambling outcome expectancies using both reaction time (RT) and self-report modes of assessment. Gambling outcome expectancies were assessed by having regular casino or online gamblers (N = 58) complete an outcome expectancy RT task, as well as a self-report measure of gambling outcome expectancies, both before and after exposure to one of two randomly assigned cue conditions (i.e., casino or control video). Consistent with hypotheses, participants exposed to gambling-related cues (i.e., casino cue video condition) responded faster to positive outcome expectancy words preceded by gambling prime relative to non-gambling prime pictures on the post-cue RT task. Similarly, participants in the casino cue video condition self-reported significantly stronger positive gambling outcome expectancies than those in the control cue video condition following cue exposure. Activation of negative gambling outcome expectancies was not observed on either the RT task or self-report measure. The results indicate that exposure to gambling cues activates both implicit and explicit positive gambling outcome expectancies among regular gamblers.

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