Gambling on smartphones: A study of a potentially addictive behaviour in a naturalistic setting


Smartphone users engage extensively with their devices, on an intermittent basis for short periods of time. These patterns of behaviour have the potential to make mobile gambling especially perseverative. This paper reports the first empirical study of mobile gambling in which a simulated gambling app was used to measure gambling behaviour in phases of acquisition and extinction. We found that participants showed considerable perseverance in the face of continued losses that were linearly related to their prior engagement with the app. Latencies between gambles were associated with the magnitude of reinforcement; more positive outcomes were associated with longer breaks between play and a greater propensity to end a gambling session. Greater latencies were associated with measurements of problem gambling, and perseverance with gambling-related cognitions and sensation-seeking behaviour.

Publication DOI:
Divisions: College of Health & Life Sciences
Additional Information: © 2019 The Author(s). This article is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY) ( Open Access License). Usage, derivative works and distribution are permitted provided that proper credit is given to the author and the original publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Addiction,App,Behaviour,Gambling,Mobile phone,Medicine (miscellaneous),Health(social science),Psychiatry and Mental health
Publication ISSN: 1421-9891
Last Modified: 17 Jun 2024 07:37
Date Deposited: 14 Dec 2018 14:53
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Related URLs: https://www.kar ... FullText/495663 (Publisher URL)
http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2019-01-01
Accepted Date: 2018-12-07
Authors: James, Richard
O'Malley, Claire
Tunney, Richard (ORCID Profile 0000-0003-4673-757X)



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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Version: Accepted Version

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