Publication Year



Gambling, analysis, autonomic arousal, subjective arousal, experience


Social and Behavioral Sciences | Sociology


The present study investigated the role of autonomic and subjective arousal in both experienced and inexperienced gamblers. Twelve undergraduate students (11 male and 1 female) participated in this study. Experienced and inexperienced groups were determined by scores on the South Oaks Gambling Screen. Autonomic arousal was measured by participant's heart rate, breathing rate, and galvanic skin responses were measured. All participants wagered on both a high odds (1:8 or above) and a low odds (1:1 or below) horse at an off-track gambling establishment at a fixed bet ($5). Subjective arousal was measured by an adapted version of the Beck Anxiety Inventory and an adapted version of the Spielberger Test Anxiety Inventory. Experienced gamblers showed a higher level of autonomic arousal in terms of heart rate only. Both groups showed higher levels of autonomic arousal on a high odds wager in terms of heart rate and G.S.R. Experienced gamblers scored significantly higher on the adapted version of Spielberger's Test Anxiety Inventory. A composite model of problem gambling is presented.