Social Conditioning and Gambling

Many people with a gambling problem question the influence of social factors, specifically the role of their upbringing and family dynamics, on their gambling. They often say that they were raised in a ‘family of gambling’ or that ‘gambling is in their blood’; these statements reveal the influence of social conditioning on problem gambling. Although [...]

Gambling and relationships

People with a gambling problem are probably very aware of the impact it is having on their own lives – not having money, the feeling of loss of control, to name but a few. The area that is sometimes less obvious is the impact on people around the problem gambler. For parents it can be [...]

Why stop gambling?

It may be easy to think that gambling is inherently a bad activity but a closer examination of this assumption will usually lead us back to a puritanical, church-based evaluation of it. While for some people this might be reason enough not to gamble, most people no longer support the idea that something is wrong [...]

Pigeons and poker machines

 B. F. Skinner, arguably the most famous psychologist after Freud, made a remarkable discovery in 1948. Using pigeons in a cage, he gave them food pellets through a dispenser but used an important condition – the food pellets were given at regular intervals but it was not related in any way to the pigeons’ behaviour. [...]

Speaking to someone about their gambling

Many people know of someone who gambles to excess - a friend, friend of a friend, a partner or family member. It can often be hard to know how to help. Concerned friends or family members often explain that they don’t know what to say, and sometimes feel they can’t say anything for fear of [...]