Episodic chasing in pathological gamblers using the Iowa gambling task

J. Linnet, S. Rojskjaer, Jørgen Nygaard, B.A. Maher

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


"Chasing ones losses" is a key symptom among pathological gamblers (PGs). This study focuses on quantitative differences in episodic chasing (i.e., sequences of disadvantageous decisions within a single gambling session) between PGs and non-pathological gamblers (NPGs). We compared 61 PGs and 39 NPGs on the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) and the Zuckerman Sensation Seeking Scale (SSS). The PGs showed significantly more chasing and had significantly poorer decision-making strategies than NPGs, particularly among males (F = 4.52, p <0.05). Random players were significantly less sensation seeking than advantageous and disadvantageous (i.e., chasing) players, but there was no interaction with group or gender. The results suggest that quantifiable within-session gambling behavior holds important implications for detecting underlying vulnerabilities to gambling pathology.
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Psychology
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)43-49
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • performance test
  • human sex differences
  • decision making
  • sensation seeking
  • pathological gambling
  • measurement


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