Online Betting Intensity is Linked with Extraversion and Conscientiousness

Jussi Petteri Palomäki, Michael Laakasuo, Sari Castrén, Jani Saastamoinen, Tuomo Kainulainen, Niko Suhonen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Introduction Extraversion and Conscientiousness are well-studied personality traits associated with reward processing and goal prioritization, respectively, and bear on individual differences in financial risk-taking. Using unique large datasets, we investigated the link between these traits and male online gamblers' actual betting participation and intensity.

Method We combined datasets containing online horse betting data (during 2015-2016) from the Finnish monopoly betting company, administrative registry data from Statistics Finland, and personality trait measures from the Finnish Defence Forces corresponding to Extraversion and Conscientiousness as defined in the five-factor model. We modelled associations between these traits and betting participation (n = 471,968) and intensity (n = 11,217) among male horse bettors (age = 36-53).

Results Controlling for demographics and IQ, individuals scoring high on Conscientiousness (or Extraversion) were less (or more) likely to bet and less (or more) intensive bettors-even when personality was measured 16-34 years before betting occurred. One SD personality score increase represented an annual decrease (Conscientiousness) or increase (Extraversion) of euro570-754 in spending.

Conclusions Extraversion and Conscientiousness are implicated in real-life financial behavior with tangible consequences for individuals. These effects are stronger than for many known demographic variables used in gambling studies and persist up to 34 years after personality has been measured.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Personality
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1081-1094
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Fields of Science

  • 5144 Social psychology
  • 515 Psychology

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