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Impulsivity: The Behavioral and Neurological Science of Discounting


American Psychological Association

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Pathological gambling is a disorder characterized by excessive gambling. It often occurs in conjunction with substance use disorders, and research is beginning to examine the association between these disorders, especially with regard to impulsivity and discounting. In this chapter, we initially review the diagnosis and prevalence rates of pathological gambling, including its comorbidity with substance use disorders. We then describe relations between personality measures of impulsivity and pathological gambling. Gamblers' patterns of choices on the Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) and measures of delay and probability discounting are covered in depth, and we discuss the degree to which these choices are uniquely associated with a gambling disorder rather than a comorbid substance use disorder. Recent theories regarding the role of discounting in the etiology of pathological gambling are described, as are suggestions for future research.


Originally published by the American Psychological Association.