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Messages de prévention promouvant le Jeu responsable : une injonction paradoxale dans les jeux de hasard et d'argent

Abstract : Gambling confronts individuals to at least two paradoxes. The first one refers to control: on the one hand, gamblers think they can control the game in order to increase their chances to win (i.e. the illusion of control) and, on the other hand, they can lose control over their impulses. To gamble safely, gamblers should play in a controlled way instead of trying to control the game. The second paradox is that the gambling operators have financial interests in promoting gambling, but try at the same time to prevent the risks of gambling. In particular, they have to help gamblers to keep control of their impulses. To that end, gambling operators use prevention messages promoting Responsible Gambling (e.g., “So that gambling remains a game”). The central thesis of this dissertation is that these preventive messages often are ambiguous and tend to convey promotional contents rather than preventive ones. The aim of this dissertation was thus to examine the comprehension of messages promoting Responsible Gambling. We studied the ambiguity of their semantic content and the influence of extrinsic factors of the message (i.e. the characteristics of the source of the message and of the receiver) on the understanding of the message. We conducted four experiments online with 1438 participants. Results of these studies show that prevention messages promoting Responsible Gambling have a paradoxical effect on individuals: they are ambiguous (Experiment 1) and individuals understand them as being both prevention and promotional messages (Experiment 2). In a real game situation, messages promoting Responsible Gambling exacerbate risk-taking behavior when compared to non-ambiguous prevention messages (Experiment 3). Moreover, we showed that people better understand prevention messages when they see them as stemming from the government instead of a gambling operator and when the source is perceived as highly credible. However, gamblers’ attitudes toward gambling, familiarity with gambling or their level of risk of pathological gambling does not influence the comprehension of the message in our sample (Experiment 4). This dissertation shows that messages which are currently used by gambling operators are not appropriate to prevent excessive gambling. Our work thus contributes to the improvement of preventive communication strategies of gambling operators and governments.
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Aurelie Mouneyrac. Messages de prévention promouvant le Jeu responsable : une injonction paradoxale dans les jeux de hasard et d'argent. Psychologie. Université Toulouse le Mirail - Toulouse II, 2019. Français. ⟨NNT : 2019TOU20016⟩. ⟨tel-03233558⟩

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