Date of Award

8-1-2015

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Behavior Analysis and Therapy

First Advisor

DIXON, MARK

Abstract

Gambling is a serious problem that affects the individual as well as the whole society. Multiple studies have investigated the effect of imagery tasks on gambling behavior. Whiting and Dixon (2013) investigated the effect of a gambling-related imagery task verses a laundry-related imagery task on gambling behavior. The current study extended Whiting and Dixon’s findings by comparing different outcome-specific imagery tasks on gambling behavior. The study included two groups: 1) winning imagery group (n=7), and 2) losing imagery group (n=7). Participants in the winning imagery group imagined themselves winging for 15 trials, while participants in the losing imagery group imagined themselves losing for 15 trials. Then both groups were given the opportunity to play a game of blackjack downloaded on a laptop for as long as they desired. Gambling intensity was measured by the total time played and the number of trials played. The Participants in the winning imagery group gambled significantly longer (p= 0.01) and played significantly more trials (p= 0.03) than those in the losing imagery group. Implications for pathological gambling treatment are discussed.

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