How learning misconceptions can improve outcomes and youth engagement with gambling education programs [open-access article].

Background and aims: Gambling education programs typically focus on promoting gambling as a high-risk activity with harmful effects; however, these programs demonstrate limited effects on the prevention of gambling problems. This paper proposes a clear theoretical framework to inform the content and delivery of gambling education initiatives and draws on psychological and pedagogical research to address some of the practical issues associated with its implementation.
Methods: Literature was reviewed across fields of psychology, public health, and pedagogy to provide key recommendations to improve the outcomes of gambling education.
Results: Four key recommendations were made for the development of future gambling education programs centering on theoretical approach, specialized content, and delivery.
Discussion and conclusions: Recommended advancements are as follows: (a) evidence suggests shifting away from messages about gambling harms and instead applying a cognitive-developmental framework of problem gambling that may improve youth engagement by increasing personal relevance. (b) The cognitive model of problem gambling suggests that misconceptions about the profitability of gambling games (e.g., the gambler’s fallacy) play an important role in the development of problems and should be a key target for education. However, exposing such misconceptions requires the challenge of teaching the mathematical principles that underpin them. (c) The pedagogical field provides valuable insights into teaching complex concepts. Research that applies the conceptual change model to science education suggests misconceptions also facilitate learning new complex information, such as gambling-related mathematical concepts (i.e., randomness and statistics). (d) In addition, improvements in computer-assisted teaching methods provide opportunities to use simulations and visualizations to help teach abstract concepts and correct such misconceptions. Article available online

Citation: Brittany Keen, Fadi Anjoul & Alex Dblaszczynski. (2019). How learning misconceptions can improve outcomes and youth engagement with gambling education programs. Journal of Behavioral Addictions 8(3), 372–383. DOI: 10.1556/2006.8.2019.56

Simulations for addicts of gambling [open access article]

Blokland, Piet van. (July, 2018). Paper presented at the Tenth International Conference on Teaching Statistics (ICOTS10), Kyoto, Japan. Retrieved from

Abstract: Gambling addiction is a serious problem in our societies. The gambling industry is a multi-billion industry with a lot of victims. Treatment for addiction has a high percentage of regression. We think that insight into the statistics involved, will help to strengthen the addicts ability to resist the temptations of gambling. Simulations are an easy way to explain variation and expectation. We describe a series of 3 lessons of 4 hours each about randomness, the gambler’s fallacy, slot machine and roulette to clarify these games in order to give better understanding. Attention is also paid to other aspects of the gambling. We tested these lessons with gamblers and gambling addicts. This approach may also be useful for public education. You can see the simulations at Read full article