'It could be us!': Cognitive and social psychological factors in UK national lottery play

Paul Rogers, Paul Webley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Examines the cognitive and social psychological factors underlying UK National Lottery play. 384 respondents were asked about their own lottery playing behaviors, their knowledge of lottery odds and their beliefs about the role of skill, chance, luck and optimism in lottery play. Using hypothetical scenarios, respondents were also asked to rate the likelihood of winning the lottery jackpot with number combinations reflecting different levels of apparent randomness, previous matches, near misses and prize size manipulations. Frequency of lottery play was found to be positively correlated with age, income, Instants scratchcard play, gambling on horse/greyhound racing, the football pools, and bingo as well as with beliefs about skill, luck and optimism. Planned contrasts revealed that compared to individual players (non-syndicate), syndicate lottery players played more regularly and gambled more on the football pools. Results are discussed in the light of current cognitive theories surrounding the misperception of probability and their relation to lottery play and in the need for future models to recognize the social factors inherent in syndicate-based lottery participation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2016 APA, all rights reserved)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-199
Number of pages19
JournalApplied Psychology: An International Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2001

Bibliographical note

Accession Number: 2001-16586-009. Other Journal Title: International Review of Applied Psychology. Partial author list: First Author & Affiliation: Rogers, Paul; U Exeter, Exeter, England. Other Publishers: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Release Date: 20010221. Publication Type: Journal (0100), Peer Reviewed Journal (0110). Format Covered: Print. Document Type: Journal Article. Language: EnglishMajor Descriptor: Cognitive Processes; Gambling; Psychodynamics; Psychosocial Factors. Classification: Recreation & Leisure (3740). Population: Human (10); Male (30); Female (40). Location: United Kingdom. Methodology: Empirical Study. References Available: Y. Page Count: 19. Issue Publication Date: Jan, 2001.


  • cognitive & social psychological factors underlying lottery play
  • humans
  • Cognitive Processes
  • Gambling
  • Psychodynamics
  • Psychosocial Factors


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