Rationalization as a Dissonance Management Strategy among Electronic Gambling Machine Players
Keywords:problem gambling, cognitive dissonance, erroneous gambling-related beliefs, rationalization
Erroneous gambling-related beliefs are well researched in light of their association with problem gambling, with some research suggesting these beliefs also serve as justifications for gambling behaviour. The process of justification (i.e., rationalization) can provide insights into how those who gamble resolve dissonance resulting from persistent loss in the gambling context. Using in-depth interviews of 43 participants who identified electronic gambling machines as their preferred game type and were either experiencing gambling problems or were at risk of developing a problem, this study details how dissonance is managed through rationalizations in line with the Dawson (1999) framework. This framework is based on research of religious groups surviving prophetic disconfirmation and is employed here to highlight the contextual and socio-cultural underpinnings of rationalizations along with their supernatural and pseudo-religious qualities. Rationalizations reflect broader socio-cultural beliefs around morality, work, speculation, perseverance, and the supernatural. Implications for treatment are discussed.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Tara Hahmann, Eva Monson
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