Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Program Name/Specialization

Social Psychology


Faculty of Science

First Advisor

Dr. Joan Norris

Advisor Role


Second Advisor

Dr. Joseph Tindale

Advisor Role



Gambling is a form of entertainment that is enjoyed by many adults, ranging from university students to older adults. A small subset of gambling research focuses on the motivations to pursue gambling, and very little research has investigated if age differences exist in motivation. Older adults typically experience decreased sense of control compared to university students (Mirowsky 1995, 2013), and it was hypothesized that this would be a key motivational difference. Through two experiments, this research aimed to investigate if different motivation models for gambling should be used for different age groups. Two competing models are tested: Loroz’s (2004) model of gambling motivations for older adults compared to Binde’s (2013) comprehensive model of gambling motivations. Experiment 1, which had 90 university students, had participants complete pre and post measures for perceived control and mood following a manipulation (gambling task or control task). Experiment 2, which had 68 older adult participants (above 50), replicated the methodology of experiment 1. There were no significant differences for perceived control or mood, across conditions and age groups. The use of different motivational models for different age groups was not supported, and as such there is support that Binde’s (2013) model is better for understanding motivations to gamble. Older adult participants did not experience a change in perceived control as expected; it is proposed that older adults may not experience the decreased sense of control that is identified by Mirowsky (1995, 2013).

Convocation Year


Convocation Season