gamble, and a stylistic factor of riskiness in gambling. There is some indication ( Knowles, Cutter, Walsh and Casey, 1973) that the motivational tendency to approach, or avoid, risks in gambling behavior is related to other behaviors such as driving in a risky way, smoking, and having more associations with the concept of risk.
An important area of investigation would be the situational determinants of risk taking. Knowles ( 1974) found support for the influence of early experiences (such as learning to walk under conditional or consistent rules) on risk taking. A related dimension that deserves study, is the belief in an external or an internal locus of control over one's behavior.
Knowles ( 1974) suggested that risk taking may have an element of orientation toward excitement, and the arousal experienced in gambling may satisfy this desire. Another factor may be high tolerance of suspense or ambiguity. Thus, there are several directions that research on personality characteristics can take.
Three threads that run through the gambling literature have been identified. In individual studies, there is usually not much evidence for relationships between the psychopathological, the growth-oriented, and the personality dimension approaches. However, looking at the broad picture, there are natural blendings and interweavings. Each approach has its own possible merit, and none is exclusive of the others. It is probably true that, for some gamblers, their behavior relates to underlying problems, while other gamblers may fit the model of psychological health. Both these approaches can benefit from the third orientation. The final point that needs to be emphasized, is that each of these approaches deserves more well-controlled investigation.
Adler, J.: "Gambling, drugs and alcohol: A note on functional equivalents". Issues in Criminology, 2:111-117, 1966.