Pop-up messages, dissociation, and craving: How monetary limit reminders facilitate adherence in a session of slot machine gambling

Abstract

A failure to set and adhere to monetary limits has been implicated in the development of problematic gambling. A randomized controlled experiment (N = 59) with 2 conditions (i.e., monetary limit pop-up reminder vs. no monetary limit pop-up reminder) was conducted to assess the value of monetary limit pop-up messages in increasing adherence to self-proclaimed monetary limits. The current research also examined dissociation as a potential mechanism by which gambling symptomatology may undermine adherence to monetary limits. Results revealed that participants who received a monetary limit pop-up reminder were significantly more likely to adhere to monetary limits than participants who did not. As predicted, dissociation mediated the relationship between gambling symptomatology and adherence to monetary limits, but only among those who did not receive a monetary limit pop-up reminder. Importantly, the forced stop in play created by the pop-up message did not heighten craving to continue gambling. The efficacy of monetary limit pop-up messages as a tool to facilitate responsible gambling is discussed.

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