Not all gamblers are created equal: Which game to play depends on the personality trait

Shu Li, Zhu-Yuan Liang


Individuals exhibit personal preferences in different types of gambling games. However, whether and how personality differences affect these preferences remain unclear. Using latent class analysis, we explored the latent classes of risk preference in different types of gambling and the effect of personality trait on these classes. A total of 743 Macau residents completed a questionnaire survey dealing with 13 types of gambling and personality traits (ZKPQ-II). We found that participant preference for gambling varies among four latent classes of games, namely, random gambling, competitive gambling, technical gambling, and entertainment gambling. In addition, not all of the personality traits can consistently predict preference for these gambling classes. For instance, the Aggression–Hostility trait can positively predict a general preference for the four classes of gambling, but the Sensation Seeking and Neuroticism–Anxiety traits have no such effect. In particular, the Impulsive trait can only positively predict preferences for competitive and technical gambling. These results suggest that personal preferences for certain kinds of gambling games may be related to specific personality traits, thus calling into question the current classification of pathological gambling as an Impulse Control Disorder in the DSM-IV.

Shu Li (Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China), Yu Zheng(Jinan University), Gui-Hai Huang (Gaming Teaching and Research Centre, Macau Polytechnic Institute) and Zhu-Yuan Liang (Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China)

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