Active involvement, not illusory control, increases risk taking in a gambling game

Q J Exp Psychol (Hove). 2009 Jun;62(6):1063-71. doi: 10.1080/17470210802602524. Epub 2009 Jan 2.


The research considers the influence of choice (the possibility for the player to choose a gamble or another) and involvement (the physical interaction with the gambling device) on risk taking in gambling games and whether this influence is mediated by illusory control over the outcome of the gamble. Results of a laboratory experiment (n = 100) show that (a) although choice does increase illusory control, this influence does not translate in increased risk taking, and (b) whilst involvement does increase risk taking, this effect is not mediated by illusory control. These results are discussed in relation to problem gambling, beliefs in the deployability of personal luck, and arousal approaches to risk taking.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Choice Behavior / physiology*
  • Female
  • Gambling / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Illusions / psychology*
  • Male
  • Models, Psychological
  • Motivation
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Young Adult