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Using the Multiple Choice Procedure to Measure College Student Gambling




Butler, Leon

Type of Degree





Research suggests that gambling is similar to addictive behaviors such as substance use. In the current study, gambling was investigated from a behavioral economics perspective. The Multiple Choice Procedure (MCP) with gambling as the target behavior was used to assess for relative reinforcing value, the effect of alternative reinforcers, and delay discounting for gambling among 323 undergraduate college students at Auburn University. Results suggest that individuals respond in a similar manner on the MCP with gambling as they might with a psychoactive substance. Crossover points on the MCP varied according to delay of alternative reinforcer and amount of the alternative. Responses on the MCP were sensitive to reported frequency of gambling, as well as gambling severity as reported on the South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS), with greater gambling behavior indicative of higher crossover points. Conceptual and treatment implications of applying the behavioral economic perspective to gambling are discussed.