I was thrilled to recently receive funding from Staffordshire University’s Centre for Health and Development for a piece of research into people’s motivations for gambling. I have studied gambling motivations in the past (e.g. Lloyd et al., 2010) and it is clear that people gamble for multiple, diverse reasons. Many people enjoy gambling in moderation as a leisure activity, but some experience problems relating to their gambling, ranging from mild to severe. I believe that learning more about the varied factors that attract people to gambling is key piece of the puzzle of why some people experience difficulties while others find it to be harmless fun. Understanding these issues is important because it has the potential to help identify ways to prevent people from developing gambling problems, or recover from existing problems.
I believe that there is still much more that psychologists need to learn about gambling motivations, and the study I am now running is using a qualitative approach to gain a deeper understanding of the topic. This means that rather than running an experiment, or collecting questionnaires, I am interviewing people and collecting their detailed accounts of how and why they gamble. I’m currently looking for people aged 18 or older, from the Stoke-on-Trent area who gamble fairly regularly (at least a few times a month, but it could be any type of gambling) who can spare about an hour to chat to me. This can be done in person or over the phone, and we offer a gift voucher as a thank you for your time. Please get in touch with me via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more info, if you are interested!
This research ties in with an existing web-based study that I am currently running, looking at how people’s cognitions (or thought processes) might influence their relationship with gambling. I am also looking for volunteers to take part in this study, which can be done online in about 15 minutes, and has a prize draw incentive. Anyone who is over 18 and has gambled even just once or twice in the past 12 months, can find out more and take part at: www.bit.ly/gamblingstudy.
Watch this space for an update on the findings of these studies in the future!
The Staffordshire Centre for Psychological Research is home to research activity in the Psychology Department at Staffordshire Centre. The Centre is home to a number of research-active psychologists who are engaged in research across a wide range of psychological subdisciplines. The Centre has two overarching research streams: Health and Behaviour Change and Applied Perception and Cognition.
The Centre provides training for PhD students, Research Masters degrees, as well as Professional Doctorates in Clinical and Health Psychology (click here for more details). The Centre also provides bespoke training to private and public organisations, as well as expertise for consultancy research opportunities. For more details about the Centre, its research activities, events and consultancy, please visit our website (click here).