• Project description


    Development of a theoretical framework for an epistemologically enhanced gambling-mathematics education in the prevention of problem gambling

    The gambling phenomenon has grown worldwide, especially with the legalisation of gambling in most jurisdictions, and so have grown the harmful effects associated with it. Research in problem gambling within cognitive and addiction psychology was concerned since the 1980s with etiology and prevalence. Prevention and treatment has not advanced much. Findings from those studies have not yet been systematically translated into effective prevention and treatment programs.

    Thus far, the contribution of mathematics to psychological intervention in problem gambling has been reduced to delivering plain, standard mathematical knowledge from statistics and probability theory. The few isolated studies on such intervention tended unexpectedly to answer no to the hypothesis that gamblers receiving such specific mathematical education show a significant change in gambling behaviour after the intervention. A central question then arises: If the standard curricular gambling-mathematics knowledge is not adequate for such interventions, what is missing in what is taught?

    The current project aims to exploit the full cognitive-educational potential of the epistemology of the mathematical models of games of chance in the field of problem gambling.

     This theoretical investigation will show how the gambling events are represented through mathematical models of the games and how the epistemology of this representation contributes to eliminating the specific fallacies associated with these events. Such contribution is generalised to cover all known misconceptions and fallacies specific to gambling, including those related to primary sensible concepts such as measure, randomness, and probability.

    By developing an interdisciplinary conceptual and theoretical framework within which to assimilate both the epistemology of gambling mathematics and the usual concepts of cognitive psychology, we shall acquire the means by which to translate the theoretical results into adequate counselling schemes to be used and tested further empirically for effectiveness in prevention and treatment.

  • Research team

    Dr. Catalin Barboianu (Applied mathematics, Epistemology of Mathematics, Mathematical Cognition), principal investigator

    Call for researchers:

    Problem-gambling psychologist as the secondary investigator (1 position). The secondary investigator will assist the PI in the theoretical phase of the project in order to adapt the new conceptual framework to the cognitive-psychology and addiction-psychology traditional terms. The candidate should have relevant experience in empirical research (both qualitative and quantitative) and psychometry, for the next phases of the project. Please see instructions for applying in the projects page.

  • Published research

    Barboianu, C. (2019). The Epistemology of the Near Miss and Its Potential Contribution in the Prevention and Treatment of Problem-Gambling. Journal of Gambling Studies, 1-16. DOI: 10.1007/s10899-018-09820-1
    Abstract   Full text

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