University of New Brunswick Online Poker Playing Study

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ahopley

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An online poker study is being conducted by Anthony Hopley, a Ph.D. student in psychology at the University of New Brunswick, supervised by Dr. Richard Nicki. This study is done online and is investigating the factors which lead to online poker playing. All participants will fill out several questionnaires, which should take approximately 30 minutes. Each participant will be entered into a draw for four prizes of $50 (expected odds of winning are 1:50). If you are from Canada and are older than 18 or are from anywhere outside Canada and at least 21 years of age, currently play online poker and you would like to participate in this study, please visit the website below.

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=jFXEuc9ZlvIWb6HWtw4K4g_3d_3d


The Psychology Department Ethics Committee has Approved this Research
REB #2009-007
 
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feitr

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Will probably fill it out later. I think you'll find alot of the younger generation probably transitioned from some form of gaming, because at least poker can be a profitable "waste of time", just as a useless qualitative note.

Is examining the factors leading to online poker player the main focus of your thesis or just a smaller component that is part of a wider research question (like gaming or gambling in general)? Seems pretty interesting. If you don't mind me asking what made you want to have a look at this?
 
Makwa

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OK will fill. I teach advanced qualitative methods at Carleton and am studying online poker and social cyberspaces; we should keep in touch. Welcome to Cards Chat!
 
TRB1965

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OK guys. I filled out this survey.

It is obvious from the questions that this guy has an agenda. He is trying to prove that anyone that plays online poker is a hopelessly addicted gambler with serious mental issue that is wiling to mortgage their house for their next gambling fix.
 
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ahopley

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reply to feitr

Hi feitr,
Yeah it's entirely possible that younger players move onto online poker from some other form of gambling. In the last couple years poker playing in general has exploded in popularity, so i'm trying to find out why this is and what it could mean. Unfortunately at this point I can say more, because if I explain everything I'm looking at it may bias the way people who haven't responded to the survey yet respond. So we can talk more about it either in PM or once you complete the survey send an e-mail to the address given at the end. To answer your question about my thesis, this is only one small part. This is actually a side project for me because I'm interested in addictions in general. My main focus is drug addictions, but I was offered a chance to work on this as well and so I took it :)

thanks for your interest,
Tony.
 
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ahopley

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Reply to TRB1965

To TRB1965,
First, thank you for taking out the time to fill out my survey. Also, let me try to address some of the issues you raised. While you are of course welcome to your own opinion on what I'm looking for, let me start by saying that I'm trying to "prove that anyone that plays online poker is a hopelessly addicted gambler with serious mental issue that is wiling to mortgage their house for their next gambling fix". The goal of a research project like this is to go collect data, and then analyze it to see what kinds of information I can get out of it. While it is entirely possible that SOME gamblers are addicted and go to extreme lengths to continue gambling it is not my intention to PROVE that everyone is like that, nor would my study be able to do that. If you wish to discuss my hypotheses further feel free to send me an e-mail at the address provided at the end of the study.

thank you,
Tony.
 
HousesoftheHoly78

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OK guys. I filled out this survey.

It is obvious from the questions that this guy has an agenda. He is trying to prove that anyone that plays online poker is a hopelessly addicted gambler with serious mental issue that is wiling to mortgage their house for their next gambling fix.

I just filled out the survey and I agree with the above quote. While you will find people who have problems gambling in online poker rooms, and these people do develop some health and mental issues. Not everyone goes down that road.

Not everyone is and addict. Why don't we stop people in line buying lottery tickets and make sure they can afford to buy them and not spending their rent money. Why don't interview everyone who enters a casino first.

I suppose studies like this help, just felt it was very negative and one side opinionated.

I built bank rolls on five sites with first from free roll winnings and then expanded the winnings from other tournaments. It's not hard to do if your a decent poker player.

However it took me some time to place in free roll winnings once I started. I didn't have the required skills to make it far enough in the tournaments.

With anything in life, know what your getting yourself into first.
 
TRB1965

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This collection of data is hopelessly flawed. There is a section that tries to determine your mental health.

If someone has an axiety disorder, they will be answering the questions in that manner. And that has zero to do with their playing online poker.
 
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feitr

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lol u guys clearly do not understand the concept of research methodology. Just because you include certain categories does not mean anybody is out to "prove" anything. You can't analyse the interaction of variables if you don't have a method for collecting the frequencies of these variables among different interest groups.

Anxiety disorder for example since you brought it up. If there was a significantly higher proportion of poker players with increased anxiety when compared to the general public that would indicate that either those with increased anxiety are predisposed towards gambling online or gambling online may lead to an increased risk of developing anxiety. Of course anxiety is perfectly relevant when dealing with gambling (no one likes to lose money, except guy laliberte).
 
TRB1965

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lol u guys clearly do not understand the concept of research methodology. Just because you include certain categories does not mean anybody is out to "prove" anything. You can't analyse the interaction of variables if you don't have a method for collecting the frequencies of these variables among different interest groups.

Anxiety disorder for example since you brought it up. If there was a significantly higher proportion of poker players with increased anxiety when compared to the general public that would indicate that either those with increased anxiety are predisposed towards gambling online or gambling online may lead to an increased risk of developing anxiety. Of course anxiety is perfectly relevant when dealing with gambling (no one likes to lose money, except guy laliberte).

I am aboslutely 100% convinced that you can not convince someone who uses this flawed methodlogy that it is indeed flawed.

In your example, it might also indicate that your sample size was too small, or that the people answering the survey were purposefully scewing the sample.

The controls on this kind of data collection or simply insufficient to even come close to even vaguely being able to call it imperical data.

200 surveys collected over the internet with no more data collected on anyone than standard Age/ Sex date. lol. Yeah that stands any chance at all of being accurate.
 
Stick66

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lol u guys clearly do not understand the concept of research methodology. Just because you include certain categories does not mean anybody is out to "prove" anything. You can't analyse the interaction of variables if you don't have a method for collecting the frequencies of these variables among different interest groups.

Anxiety disorder for example since you brought it up. If there was a significantly higher proportion of poker players with increased anxiety when compared to the general public that would indicate that either those with increased anxiety are predisposed towards gambling online or gambling online may lead to an increased risk of developing anxiety. Of course anxiety is perfectly relevant when dealing with gambling (no one likes to lose money, except guy laliberte).
While I agree with you here, there is no guarantee of how the results will be used with ANY of these types of "research tests" that come along. We don't know if this guy is working with the Canadian government to gather info for use in the effort to ban online poker. Not saying he IS, but we really don't know. I never do these things because I don't trust most people online. Sure, research is research. But the results can be twisted any way the researchers want.

Sorry for being skeptical, but I've learned to err on the side of caution when dealing with most things online. And I urge all others to use the same caution.
 
aloevera

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While I agree with you here, there is no guarantee of how the results will be used with ANY of these types of "research tests" that come along. We don't know if this guy is working with the Canadian government to gather info for use in the effort to ban online poker. Not saying he IS, but we really don't know. I never do these things because I don't trust most people online. Sure, research is research. But the results can be twisted any way the researchers want.

Sorry for being skeptical, but I've learned to err on the side of caution when dealing with most things online. And I urge all others to use the same caution.

I didn't even bother going to look at the study at this time, but I have to agree with Mike on this one, the gov't have talked about banning poker here in canada and in the same breath I realize that the studies are also what gives us what we want. If you look at the news these days especially on health issues, it always states first thing "STUDIES HAVE SHOWN/PROVEN......" Not all are bad, many help.
 
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feitr

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I am aboslutely 100% convinced that you can not convince someone who uses this flawed methodlogy that it is indeed flawed.

In your example, it might also indicate that your sample size was too small, or that the people answering the survey were purposefully scewing the sample.

The controls on this kind of data collection or simply insufficient to even come close to even vaguely being able to call it imperical data.

200 surveys collected over the internet with no more data collected on anyone than standard Age/ Sex date. lol. Yeah that stands any chance at all of being accurate.

Questionnaires are used as a data collection method in a wide variety of studies. How else do you propose to do it? It isn't like you can't "screw teh results" in a hard copy questionnaire or interview. And sample size is adjusted for in statistical analysis.

Secondly, taking basic demographic characteristics and keeping anonynimity for the participants is again absolutely standard.

Emperical* and you clearly don't understand what it means if you don't think that questionnaires are emperical data. Nor would anybody filling out this form be a "control" but I've got no clue what you even meant by that sentence.

While I agree with you here, there is no guarantee of how the results will be used with ANY of these types of "research tests" that come along. We don't know if this guy is working with the Canadian government to gather info for use in the effort to ban online poker. Not saying he IS, but we really don't know. I never do these things because I don't trust most people online. Sure, research is research. But the results can be twisted any way the researchers want.

Sorry for being skeptical, but I've learned to err on the side of caution when dealing with most things online. And I urge all others to use the same caution.

It is the same with any form of research. The strength of a study is based on its methodological soundness, its results, the analysis, etc. It isn't like you can just say "oh we found so and so", and not provide any sort of substance in terms of results and statistical analysis to back up your findings. But it is a good point in that any sort of paper/findings you read should be read very critically (especially the shitty way they spin findings in the newspapers).

To no one in particular: Give the guy a break and either fill out the survey or don't, but stop saying that there is a hidden agenda just coz you didn't like the questions. How do you think he is supposed to examine his research question (if you actually bothered to read it at the end) without data on problem gambling lol?

And as for the banning online gambling coz of problem gambling argument - that is just silly. That aspect is in no way restricted to online gambling and any talks regarding the banning of online gambling have to do with an inability to monitor it/gain any profits from users within its borders, not a moral arguement on whether or not it destroys lives.
 
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Exit141RTe1

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I wouldn't put much thought in it. Now, if that study was done by Mount Allison University, then that's a different story.
 
Mase31683

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On average, how much money do you wager in an online session? Umm, is a session one day? Or if I break my day into four sections of 2 hours, how much I wager in two hours? Then.........how much I wager over that time? I really don't know. I can give my total $$$ in play at one time which would equal # tables * buyin, but anyone have thoughts on how to address this question of $ wagered per session? As I read it the surveryor wants to know the summation of all bets made, which I don't have a clue how to go about getting.
 
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NineLions

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Done.

I've done general gambling ones before and thought that this might be different, but there's a lot of the same questions.


There seems to be a lack of understanding that decent poker players, ones that practise bankroll management, try to learn, try to improve their game, try to keep their life in balance, versus the general populace of gamblers are not the same.
 
Lemlywinks

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I started it, realized the direction it was headed, and quit. The section about you mood in the past week is what got me. I can see the correlation you're trying to make, however I have had an insanely stressful and nerve-racking week from non-poker related things that greatly affected my survey responses. And lets just say that if the theory was playing poker causes stress and anxiety, my last week's answers would not have held online poker in a good light.
 
Mase31683

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Answered my own question. Pretty interesting to find out too. I wager about 634.25 big blinds per hour of play. Now I know, lol. As one with a degree in psychology, I'm pretty disappointed in the throwing around of the term "average" as it's constantly pointed out to refer to mean median and mode explicitly

*Sigh* If I'd only known ahead of time that this wasn't actually set up by anyone with a clue about poker. Enter amount won and lost, lol. That's the classic question from clueless friends.

"How much did you win?"
"$1,200"
"Yeah, but how much did you lose?"
 
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puppyfeet

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Wow, some of y'all overreacted to the questions asked. If you thought that the questions were inappropriate or "leading," but you answered them honestly and in the negative, then wouldn't you be helping to disprove the findings that you believe the study is looking for?

Maybe some of the answers in your minds hit a little too close to home? The answers I gave didn't bother me.
 
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ahopley

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Clarification

Hello all,
Thank you for your continued interest. I want to start by addressing the issue of me working for the government in order to ban online poker. I am not employed by the Canadian government, and the goal of this project is not to ban online poker. I urge you to read the article referenced at the end of the questionnaires if you wish to have a better idea of what my paper will look like after this project. Also remember that you can choose to view the findings of this study by indicating that you wish to do so on the first page and that way you'll be able to evaluate my research and see my findings. I definitely encourage your discussions on research methodologies and of course would still be happy to discuss why I'm looking at the variables I've chosen and to discuss my aim in doing this project. The only caveat is that I will not be able to do that in the general thread discussion as my responses may bias those who have not done the survey yet. Please feel free to send me a private message as some of you have been doing already or send me an e-mail at the address I prove at the end of the study.

thanks,
Tony.
 
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ahopley

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edit: provide not prove - last sentence of previous post
 
NineLions

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We appreciate you actually taking the time to check back in the thread and comment, Tony. We've had people post requests to complete surveys before and they usually disappear after they post the request.
 
PokerVic

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"How much did you win?"
"$1,200"
"Yeah, but how much did you lose?"

Exactly. As soon as I read those questions, I knew that any numbers they collect are going to be pretty worthless.
 
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ahopley

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Hi all,
It's interesting that people usually disappear after posting their surveys. I suppose I'm attempting to treat this as a controlled study where someone would come into the lab and complete a task. At the end they would be debriefed as to the purpose, etc. Following this it's also important to address any questions those who took part had. In the case of an online study, this forum provides an excellent place for that as long as the specifics of the study aren't discussed (so as not to bias people who haven't taken it yet). Not only does this allow for you guys to address any questions you may have but it allows me to get feedback, as has been going on so far. One of the reasons this study is so exciting is that really no one has done any research in the area of online poker playing. From your comments I'm learning the kinds of things that will have to be changed in subsequent studies. So I continue to encourage you to bring any questions or comments to me via e-mail or private message as you have been doing.
@Makawa: Good catch, but I think I've heard the "correlation doesn't prove causation" too many times to ,make that freudian slip :p

thank you for your continued interest,
Tony.
 
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