Cross-cultural comparison of luck between Chinese and Caucasian individuals


  • Eric Hoo University of Sydney


Background. Luck is a distinct concept from chance and skill that has been demonstrated to impact gambling and treatment-seeking behaviour. Despite its ubiquity across different cultures, it has been suggested that the Chinese hold more profound beliefs of luck than other ethnic groups. However, there is a dearth of empirical evidence to support such anthropological findings and anecdotal evidence, particularly in the area of gambling.  Elucidating the role of luck in gambling may be useful given the higher rates of problem gambling that has been reported amongst the Chinese. Specifically, previous studies have estimated the prevalence rate of problem gambling to be almost three times higher in Chinese communities than in the general Australian population. This was also consistent with other population studies conducted in Canada, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. Aims. The main objective of the present study is to explore the differences in the level of belief in luck between Chinese and Caucasian individuals from the general population, as well as gamblers presenting for treatment.  In addition, the relationship between the concept of luck and other gambling correlates will be examined findings. Preliminary findings suggest that there are differences in the belief of luck across the two cultural groups. In addition, the differences in the perception and endorsement of luck, as well as its association with other gambling-related factors will be discussed further. Implications. Findings from the present study will contribute toward underlining cultural specificity in problem gambling. The research can also shed understanding on the development of a culturally relevant model of gambling amongst the Chinese, which is important in establishing effective treatment and management of problem gambling in this community.