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Impulsivity and loot box engagement


Garrett, EP and Drummond, A and Lowe-Calverley, E and De Silva, K and Lewis, IJ and Sauer, JD, Impulsivity and loot box engagement, Telematics and Informatics: An International Journal on Telecommunications and Internet Technology, 78 Article 101952. ISSN 0736-5853 (2023) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright (2023) Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, (, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.tele.2023.101952


Loot boxes (randomised rewards in video games) possess structural similarities to traditional forms of gambling, with a well-documented and robust link between problem gambling symptomatology and loot box spending. In this research, we present two studies investigating the role of impulsivity (an established predictor for problem gambling behaviour) and reward/punishment sensitivity in predicting loot box spending. Across two samples, recruited from MTurk (n = 342) and Prolific Academic (n = 1142), Positive Urgency and Sensation Seeking (measured using the short UPPS-P) and BAS-Drive (measured using the BIS/BAS) were positively correlated with loot box spending. Combined, results indicate a positive reinforcement process is important in understanding loot box spending but provide evidence against a negative reinforcement mechanism (i.e., purchasing loot boxes to mitigate negative affect). Beyond problem gambling symptomatology, impulsivity may play a role in loot box purchasing. However, the impulsive factors implicated in loot box purchasing appear to differ in some ways from those implicated in problem gambling.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Loot boxes, Problem gambling, microtransactions, impulsivity, video games
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Biological psychology
Research Field:Cognitive neuroscience
Objective Division:Information and Communication Services
Objective Group:Media services
Objective Field:Animation, video games and computer generated imagery services
UTAS Author:Garrett, EP (Mr Eamon Garrett)
UTAS Author:Drummond, A (Dr Aaron Drummond)
UTAS Author:Lowe-Calverley, E (Dr Emily Lowe-Calverley)
UTAS Author:De Silva, K (Mr Kulappu Thantirige Aruna De Silva)
UTAS Author:Lewis, IJ (Dr Ian Lewis)
UTAS Author:Sauer, JD (Associate Professor Jim Sauer)
ID Code:155519
Year Published:2023
Deposited By:Information and Communication Technology
Deposited On:2023-02-27
Last Modified:2023-03-20
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