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Why do gamblers over-report wins? An examination of social factors

John Jamieson, Chris Mushquash, Dwight Mazmanian


The role of social factors in gamblers' over-reporting of wins was explored using a survey administered via the Internet. One hundred and fifteen gamblers (average age 36.9) completed the survey. The majority of gamblers reported that they do not over-report wins, and would not do so for social reasons. However, they believe that other gamblers do mislead people about their losses for a variety of social reasons, such as a desire to appear skilled or to be popular. As well, the majority of gamblers report not feeling urges to gamble when hearing about wins, although younger people, males, and those with gambling problems were significantly more likely to report feeling and/or acting on urges to gamble when hearing about others' wins. The discrepancy between their views of themselves and of other gamblers may be due to cognitive distortions specific to gamblers, or may reflect a general self-presentation bias.


gambling; over-reports of wins; cognitive distortions; self-presentation bias

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