FACILITATING AWARENESS AND INFORMED CHOICE IN GAMBLING
Keywords:Harm Minimisation, Informed Choice, Problem Gambling, Responsible Gambling, Self-Appraisal, Self-Awareness.
AbstractResearch demonstrates that a large proportion of individuals have reduced levels of self-awareness of behaviour when gambling, through a process of dissociation (Powell, Hardoon, Derevensky, & Gupta, 1996) and narrowed attention (Diskin & Hodgins, 1999). This can be detrimental to the decision-making process, especially as players become increasingly stimulated, which can negatively impact upon gambling behaviour. Therefore, in an attempt to limit irrational gambling behaviour, and gambling beyond levels at which one had initially intended, emphasis is placed on harm minimisation approaches that attempt to increase self-awareness of behaviour and increase awareness of the probable outcomes of participation in gambling, by providing easily understood and relevant information in a timely fashion. Fundamentally, this refers to the provision of information pertaining to 1) Personal Behavioural Information - information provided to the player regarding amount of time and money spent gambling, and 2) Game Transparency Information – information that outlines to the player how the game operates e.g. probabilities of winning. Structural and situational characteristics of gambling may not however, be conducive to supporting self-regulation and self-control, making the process of facilitating awareness more challenging than one would initially assume. The following paper reviews evidence for the efficacy of strategies aimed at facilitating awareness during gambling, referring to behavioural information and game transparency, as well as problem gambling information and referral.
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