Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Extreme gambling: Extreme sport athletes have a lot in common with gamblers

Date:
October 13, 2011
Source:
University of Bergen
Summary:
Can parachuting help people with a gambling addiction? New research shows that extreme sport athletes have quite a lot in common with gamblers.

Can parachuting help people with a gambling addiction? New research shows that extreme sport athletes have quite a lot in common with gamblers. The money-hustling schemes of the racecourse and parachuting may seem like worlds apart. But according to new research from the University of Bergen (UiB), extreme sport athletes may be just as addicted to thrill-seeking and their impulses as compulsive gamblers are.

Whereas for gamblers the rising stakes may lead to a loss of money and economic woes, the extreme sport addicts exhibit a somewhat healthier lifestyle.

Extreme health thrill

A group of researchers, led by associate professor Helga Myrseth from UiB's Department of Psychology, asked themselves if the compulsive gamblers could be stimulated to try a healthier form of addiction. And in a recently published paper in the Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, Myrseth and her team of three students -- Renate Tverε, Susanne Hagatun and Camilla Lindgren -- discuss this matter.

It all began as a term paper, when Myrseth counselled a group of students and asked them to compare gambler's behavioural features with a similarly obsessed group of people. Myrseth has extensive knowledge of the gambler's personality after writing her PhD on gambling addiction -- creating a waste data library tracking impulse and thrill seeking in compulsive gamblers.

After picking extreme sports from a list of comparative groups, Myrseth and her team sent a survey to parachuting teams throughout Norway.

"We figured that skydivers typically are thrill-seeking individuals. What's particularly interesting is that they are healthy people, who do not have a diagnosis or are considered to be ill in any way. As it turned out, they scored more extremely than compulsive gamblers in all the target groups we set," Myrseth says.

Positive thrill-seeking

The results were of such interest that the group decided to rework the term paper into an article and submitted it for publication.

"One of our major discoveries was that extreme scores for impulsiveness or thrill-seeking don't have to be negative or linked to a diagnosis, such as gambling addiction. It may as well be connected to more wholesome leisure activities, such as extreme sports," Myrseth argues.

The work of Myrseth's team suggests that compulsive gamblers may be able to get their kicks without risking health and ruin. Both gamblers and extreme sport athletes show a strong desire for intense stimulus. For skydivers this arises from the intensely compressed nature of the sport. For gamblers it can lead to increasing sums of money being put into play.

Gambling as routine

On one level however, the two groups differed noticeably. Whereas skydivers seek the thrill of the new, gamblers are more locked into routine.

"Skydivers don't jump for hours on end every day in the way that compulsive gamblers are playing the slot machines all day. And because skydivers do what they do more rarely and more intensely, the thrill of the new appears stronger," Myrseth suggests.

Emerging research field

Many questions still remain though. Is impulsiveness and thrill-seeking something people are born with? Or are these needs created as a result of seeking out certain activities?


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Bergen. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Helga Myrseth, Renate Tverε, Susanne Hagatun, Camilla Lindgren. A comparison of impulsivity and sensation seeking in pathological gamblers and skydivers. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 2011; DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9450.2011.00917.x

Cite This Page:

University of Bergen. "Extreme gambling: Extreme sport athletes have a lot in common with gamblers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 October 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111007073151.htm>.
University of Bergen. (2011, October 13). Extreme gambling: Extreme sport athletes have a lot in common with gamblers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111007073151.htm
University of Bergen. "Extreme gambling: Extreme sport athletes have a lot in common with gamblers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111007073151.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother Getaway: Beaches Turks & Caicos

Working Mother (Oct. 22, 2014) — Feast your eyes on this gorgeous family-friendly resort. Video provided by Working Mother
Powered by NewsLook.com
What Your Favorite Color Says About You

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

Buzz60 (Oct. 22, 2014) — We all have one color we love to wear, and believe it or not, your color preference may reveal some of your character traits. In celebration of National Color Day, Krystin Goodwin (@kyrstingoodwin) highlights what your favorite colors may say about you. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

First-Of-Its-Kind Treatment Gives Man Ability To Walk Again

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) — A medical team has for the first time given a man the ability to walk again after transplanting cells from his brain onto his severed spinal cord. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Portable Breathalyzer Gets You Home Safely

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) — Breeze, a portable breathalyzer, gets you home safely by instantly showing your blood alcohol content, and with one tap, lets you call an Uber, a cab or a friend from your contact list to pick you up. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins