Dr Steve Sharman
My primary research area is disordered gambling (previously called pathological or problem gambling). I work with treatment seeking gambling populations, non-problem gamblers and non-gamblers. My research can be divided roughly into two major areas; the first is work with gambling populations, and gambler data. I work with the Gordon Moody Association, and have previously worked extensively with the National Problem Gambling Clinic, London, looking at pathways into gambling, and predictors of successful treatment completion. I also use neuropsychological tasks to investigate behavioural traits such as impulsivity, delay discounting, and approach to risk in gambling populations. I also work with homeless populations, investigating the relationship between gambling and homelessness. This is a little researched area, and I have recently been awarded some funding to continue and extend this work on a nationwide scale in partnership with several leading homeless support charities and organisations. The second area of my research examines within game constructs such as the near-miss, and losses disguised as wins, and how these constructs are used in different gambling scenarios to effect and individuals cognitive processing and resultant behaviour. This work is particularly salient to the current controversy surrounding Fixed Odds Betting Terminals.
I completed my undergraduate degree in Psychology at UEL, graduating top of the class and winning the British Psychological Society award for the University. During this time I became interested in pathological gambling, and began working on a voluntary basis at the National Problem Gambling Clinic. This was followed by a master’s degree at UCL in Cognitive Neuroscience, where my dissertation investigated decision-making differences between gamblers and a control group. I won a scholarship to complete my PhD in Experimental Psychology at the University of Cambridge, under the supervision of Dr Luke Clark, investigating cognition and decision-making in pathological and regular gamblers. Upon completion of my doctorate, I worked for approximately 1 year at NatCen (National Centre for Social Research) before moving to the University of Lincoln to take up a post-doctoral research post, working closely with pathological gamblers from the Gordon Moody Association. I am a member of the National Problem Gambling Research Council, housed at the clinic in London, have acted as a reviewer for numerous journals, supervise final year undergraduate dissertation, and teach on the Psychology undergraduate degree.