Dr Amanda Roberts (BSc Hons, PhD) is a Reader in the School of Psychology, University of Lincoln, UK. Her main research covers specific areas in mental health and addiction and is predominately based on epidemiological and psychological theory. Current research interests include the evaluation of gambling addiction treatment programmes both in the community (e.g. the Gordon Moody Association and the National problem Gambling Clinic) and in UK prisons, gambling comorbidity, gambling advertising, gambling in vulnerable populations, gambling and interpersonal violence, and homelessness.
Promotion of gambling through sports betting, television/radio broadcasts and billboard advertisements has seen a surge in recent years. Data from other areas of public health (e.g., alcohol and tobacco) are consistent with the finding that children’s exposure to advertising strategies increases their intention to consume such products. However, the impact of gambling advertising on children is less known. Eye tracking is a novel way of objectively measuring attention and spontaneous responses to marketing messages and can reveal overt attentional focus when performing visual tasks. The current project seeks to examine the usefulness of eye tracking in identifying which specific aspects of gambling advertisement clips may contribute to gambling behaviour among young people (age 14-18). This research uses a Tobii T60 XL eye tracker to investigate saccades, fixations and direction of gaze, allowing the utility of responsible gambling messages to be examined. Furthermore, it examines the relationship between advertising clips, intentions to gamble (Measured by the Gambling Intent Scale) and craving effects (Gambling Craving Scale).
The research is funded by the University of Lincoln College of Social Science Research Fund.