Home > Interest in inducements: a psychophysiological study on sports betting advertising.

Lole, Lisa and Russell, Alex M T and Li, En and Thorne, Hannah and Greer, Nancy and Hing, Nerilee (2020) Interest in inducements: a psychophysiological study on sports betting advertising. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 147, pp. 100-106. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2019.10.015.

External website: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/...

Recent research has shown an association between the viewing of wagering advertising, which often presents inducements to gamble, and maladaptive sports-betting behaviours; however, the mechanism/s underlying the development of the intention to gamble remains relatively understudied. Eye-tracking and tonic electrodermal activity was recorded from 59 participants (including 49 regular gamblers and 10 non-gamblers), while they watched a series of advertisements. Following each advertisement, participants were asked to rate how likely they would be to take up the offer presented, therein. The number of fixations placed on each offer differed according to the type of inducement shown (p < .001), with reduced risk and cash back inducements being looked at more often than better odds and bonus bet inducements by all groups. Increased electrodermal activity while viewing the advertisements was associated with greater severity of gambling-related harm (p < .001), as well as greater ratings of desire for most advertisements. Rating of desire was, likewise, positively associated with gambling-related harm (p < .001).

These results may suggest that, while the offers in gambling advertisements may be looked at by most viewers, unless there an attendant increase in arousal, it is quite unlikely that these inducements will elicit a desire to gamble. For individuals already at risk of gambling problems, exposure to these advertisements, especially those offering what is perceived to be safer betting options that minimise financial losses, may exacerbate existing harms. Such information may prove useful in guiding industry practice, government regulations, therapeutic interventions, and future research on this topic.

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