The Psychology of Sports Betting


壹心理翻译社 ◎ 荣誉出品
原作 | Jill Kapinus
翻译 | 宋艾米
校编 | 张真Derek

Chances are you’ve been around people betting on sports or may have even placed a bet yourself! Sports betting can be as harmless as a being part of a playoff game pool at work or playing the odds of a horse race.


We get excited from the risk of betting and possibly losing our hard earned money, and sometimes the payoff is thrilling! There’s the monetary upside to sports betting but there can also be a danger when—for some people—sports betting turns into a gambling addiction.


First of all, what is sports betting? Well, it’s basically a pool of people gambling on the outcome of a sports event—a boxing match, the Super Bowl, basketball playoffs, horse racing—and the bets are typically dictated by the odds calculated from how many times that athlete or team has won or lost.


Keep in mind that outside of regulated, approved venues, sports betting is illegal. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the police will bust down your door to haul you in for your hockey playoff pool with friends. But people who run underground gambling groups might be subjected to criminal prosecution.


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If you made a bet that men are more likely to participate on sports betting than women, you’d win! Men are twice as likely as women to gamble on sports.


The age range with the highest percentage of gamblers is 18-24 year olds (26% of reported gamblers), followed by 35-45 year olds (18%), and gamblers aged 55 and older (11%).

按年龄段来看,18-24 岁的人群参与赌博的比率最高(记录显示 26% 的人是赌徒),其次是 35-45 岁的人群(18%),然后是年龄在 55 岁甚至更年长的人群(11%)。

Another interesting statistic is that college graduates are 24% more likely to gamble on sports than people who don’t have a college degree. Perhaps it has to do with college graduate typically earning more with a degree [i] and that translates to more expendable income with which to bet.

另一项有意思的统计数据表明受过大学教育的人参与赌博的比率,比没上过大学的人高出  24%。原因也许是大学毕业生因为拥有学历,因而收入更高、所以他们能用于赌博的可支配收入也就更高。

People bet for a few different reasons. The risk of betting produces adrenaline in the body and the payoff of money could mean taking a great vacation or settling financial debt.


Sometimes gambling can distract someone from worries, or it can bring out their competitive spirit in their desire to beat other players, the dealer, or the casino itself. While the thrill can be great, some people become addicted to the rush that comes with the risk associated with a bet.


An estimated 2 to 3% of Americans suffer from a gambling addiction and 6% of American college students are said to be grappling with this addiction. People with a gambling addition have a higher likelihood of developing a mental health disorder, and unfortunately, families of those suffering from gambling addiction are more likely to experience domestic violence.

约有 2%-3% 的美国人患有赌博成瘾症,6% 的美国人声称自己在同赌瘾作斗争。有赌瘾的人罹患精神障碍的可能性更大,而更为不幸的是,饱受赌瘾折磨的家庭更容易遭遇家庭暴力。

Clinical studies show that sports betting has higher addiction potential than playing the lottery, so if your grandmother buys a lottery ticket every afternoon, it doesn’t necessarily mean she has a gambling addiction.


With the University of North Carolina Greensboro’s research connecting a higher incidence of some mental health disorders (like depression, anxiety, and substance abuse disorders) in those who suffer from gambling addiction, it’s important to recognize this problem in ourselves and in others to avoid the possible damage it can cause.

北卡罗来纳大学 Greensboro 分校的研究表明:赌博成瘾症和一些精神疾病的高发病率息息相关比如抑郁、焦虑、药物滥用障碍)。因此,认清我们自己和他人身上的赌瘾问题是极其重要的,这样可以避免它们可能对我们造成的损害。

Once an addiction to sports or casino betting has been identified by the individual or their family members, it is a good idea to seek out treatment. Getting treatment might mean seeking support through a professional psychologist or counselor, or through a friend or family member.


Discussing the problem could be the first step towards someone’s recovery. Steering clear of places and situations where sports gambling takes place can be a good idea. A popular treatment of gambling addiction is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which is administered by a therapist.


It’s a form of treatment that has the potential to help gambling addicts, as the aim is to change the thoughts that compel someone to gamble compulsively and attempts to send those thoughts on a different path. Medication prescribed by a psychiatrist may also be a good way to curb compulsive gambling and the depression that can come with it.


If you’re interested in learning more about what turns an occasional sports bet into a gambling addiction, as well as the treatment that goes along with battling that addiction, consider pursuing a career in psychology or counseling psychology. Psychology is a fascinating field for the inquisitive mind to enter into—that you can bet on!

如果你想知道 “小赌怡情” 是怎样一步步演变成 “大赌伤身” 的或者你想了解治疗赌瘾的相关方式,那么可以考虑在心理学行业谋职成为一名心理咨询师。对于你们这些大脑中满是好奇来说,心理学是一个极具吸引的领域 —— 在心理学上下赌注,你输不了的

References / 参考资料:
[i] | Additional Sources: | | | |

英文原作:The Psychology of Sports Betting by Jill Kapinus (
译者简介:宋艾米,壹心理翻译社 | 译员。心理咨询师,心理专栏撰稿人。英语专八,留英访美,爱学习的书虫。
© 本译文由壹心理翻译社译员与壹心理联合原创首发,供交流学习之用,文中内容不代表壹心理或译者立场。

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