Alexithymia predicts loss chasing for people at risk for problem gambling

Bibby, Peter A. and Ross, Katherine E. (2017) Alexithymia predicts loss chasing for people at risk for problem gambling. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 6 (4). pp. 630-638. ISSN 2063-5303

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Background and aims

The aim of this research was to investigate the relationship between alexithymia and loss-chasing behavior in people at risk and not at risk for problem gambling.


An opportunity sample of 58 (50 males and 8 females) participants completed the Problem Gambling Severity Index and the Toronto Alexithymia Scale (TAS-20). They then completed the Cambridge Gambling Task from which a measure of loss-chasing behavior was derived.


Alexithymia and problem gambling risk were significantly positively correlated. Subgroups of non-alexithymic and at or near caseness for alexithymia by low risk and at risk for problem gambling were identified. The results show a clear difference for loss-chasing behavior for the two alexithymia conditions, but there was no evidence that low and at-risk problem gamblers were more likely to loss chase. The emotion-processing components of the TAS-20 were shown to correlate with loss chasing.

Discussion and conclusion

These findings suggest that loss-chasing behavior may be particularly prevalent in a subgroup of problem gamblers those who are high in alexithymia.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: alexithymia, problem gambling, loss chasing
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham, UK > Faculty of Science > School of Psychology
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Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 20 Nov 2017 10:59
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2018 01:28

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