chapter  1
8 Pages

Gambling as a Human Activity

Common Theories and Concepts
ByDesmond Lam

Gambling has appeared universally popular among the human community as an acceptable social activity. Besides China, there has been strong evidence to suggest that gambling activities occurred in many ancient civilizations around the world. It is one of the few human activities that occur in nearly all human cultures and in almost every period of time. Gambling is an important part of a human's daily life for many cultures that view taking chances and profit as highly correlated. Psychoanalytic explanations generally focus on the effect of childhood on gambling and typically involve defective relations between parent and child. A cognitive-based paradigm is often used by researchers to explain gambling behavior and paradoxes such as what motivates people to gamble despite losses. Recent researchers like Fong, Law, and Lam found that both Westerners and Chinese gamblers exhibit fallacy biases such as gambler's fallacy. Gambling behavior can vary significantly across demographics such as age, income level, and education.