Moderate-risk and problem slot machine gamblers: A typology of gambling-related cognitions


Cognitive distortions are said to play a key role in the development and maintenance of problem gambling, as well as in its treatment. Toneatto’s (1999, 2002) typology of gambling distortions provides a useful conceptualization of gambling-related cognitions, although game-type specification is absent from his analysis. Toneatto’s categorization was used in the present study to organize the beliefs of 43 slot machine gamblers experiencing either moderate-risk or problem gambling, recruited and interviewed in Toronto, Canada. The typology captured many of the gambling-related cognitions, although specific beliefs held by this sample of slot machine gamblers required revision of the original typology. This study provides unique insight into the cognitive structure of these beliefs, as described by gamblers, and their frequency count, suggesting that game type is an important factor when identifying and describing gambling-specific cognitive distortions.

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