social cognitive theory, bandura, television, online, Internet poker, poker, online gambling, gambling, social comparison, identification, activation theory, uses and gratifications, World Series of Poker, ESPN
Tournament poker shows have become a leading ratings draw on American television. Since ESPN and the Travel Channel began airing their innovative poker shows in 2003, the game has reached a new following, particularly among college students. There are unique and psychologically significant factors that characterize the college population that make students particularly receptive to popular characterizations in media. This study investigates the potential exacerbating effect that these widely popular poker television shows have on the gambling behavior of college students. 444 college students completed a survey designed to assess gratifications sought through media along with measures of attitudes, gambling behavior, and social systems. Using Social Cognitive Theory as a framework of influence, exposure to these shows ranging from the individual student to the overall college environment was assessed and evaluated. Results indicated that student gambling is strongly correlated to viewership of poker shows, particularly among younger students. This was especially seen among students who utilized the online gambling option. Gambling behavior of peers wasn't shown to be a strong influence for student gambling. However, excitement was shown to be a strong variable that should be looked at closer.
Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Sciences
Nicholson School of Communication
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Londo, Marc, "A Social Cognitive Approach Towards Understanding The Effects Of Popular Poker Television Shows On College Students" (2006). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 936.