Research on gambling addiction often focuses on risk factors in individual people – but is the design of the games themselves part of the problem?
According to Clark, there are two main sources of problem gambling: risk factors of the individual person, and the design of the games themselves. He explains that the key is to understand the interplay between the two; how the games interact with the individual’s decision making. Focusing on slot machines, Clark explains how games are designed to immerse players in a similar way one would lose themselves in a great movie or video game. Clark hopes to identify the factors that make certain players more prone to machine gambling addiction.
Clark explains that problem gamblers are not one uniform group; rather, that there are many types of gamblers and roots that lead to gambling addiction. He stresses the importance of moving away from a one-size-fits-all approach to gambling research, and instead to one that aims to treat the many different types of gamblers and sources of problem gambling.
For more information about Dr. Clark’s work, visit the Centre for Gambling Research at UBC website.
This post was originally featured on the Research2Reality website.