Magical thinking and decision-making strategies among late adolescent regular gamblers: A mediation model

Abstract

In the present study, the relation between the tendency to seek supernatural connections between external events and one's own thoughts, words, and actions and gambling among late adolescents has been studied. Psychologists have called this tendency magical thinking. The principal aim of the present study was to test the fit of an explanatory model of risk that starts from magical thinking and passes through maladaptive decision-making strategies, culminating with pathological gambling. Two hundred twenty-two Italian late adolescents, regularly attending bingo halls, aged between 19 and 21 years, completed measures on magical thinking, decision-making strategies, and gambling. Results highlight that young adults adopting dysfunctional modes of thought (i.e. magical thinking) tend to engage with maladaptive styles of decision-making that predispose them to gamble.

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