By Johnnie Johnson; Alistair Bruce
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Additional info for Decisions : risk and reward
Specifically, variables relating to three aspects of the individual bet – financial return, stake, inherent risk – were selected as important indicators of underlying betting motivations. Consideration of the values taken by these variables for each subset suggests that the motivational distinctions inherent in the proposition are at least reasonably robust. Undoubtedly, the most striking conclusion relates to the unambiguous confirmation of the existence of a subset motivated by financial returns.
Further suggest that those who lack decision-making in their work seek it in the form of gambling. An important element in this motivation is that a successful bet is regarded as the result of intellectual or analytical skill. C. V. Johnson regular (racegoer) comes to see himself as one who can rationally cope with the complexities of picking winners’ (p. 86). In addition, research into off-course horse-race betting in the UK by Downes et al. (1976) reported that 65 per cent of male bettors cited ‘skill’ as the sole basis for the selection made.
As such, it seems reasonable to suggest that the prospect of financial gain will form part of the motivation to bet. At the same time, there is evidence from large samples of actual betting decisions (Filby and Harvey, 1988) to suggest that successful bets (bets generating a positive return) form only about 25 per cent of all bets placed. This clearly presents problems for economic approaches which seek to explain betting as an activity pursued by rational agents in the pursuit of financial gain.
Decisions : risk and reward by Johnnie Johnson; Alistair Bruce