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Study: Social Isolation Could Lead To Risky Financial Choices, Gambling

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File photo of chips on a betting table in a casino. (Photo by Steve Grayson/WireImage)

File photo of chips on a betting table in a casino. (Photo by Steve Grayson/WireImage)

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LAS VEGAS (CBS Las Vegas) – Folks without friends may be more likely to find themselves gambling away their money in the famed casinos of Las Vegas, according to a new study that has found a connection between social isolation and a tendency toward taking financial risks.

Health Magazine reports that researchers involved in the study performed a series of experiments and conducted surveys with randomly selected participants, all of which indicated connections between the feeling of exclusion and the inclination to gamble on money and generally take larger fiscal risks.

During a presentation of the findings at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Society, the team from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology that executed the study said that the lack of personal relationships led vulnerable people to place a greater amount of importance on money.

“Some marketers with questionable ethics may target demographic groups likely to suffer from social exclusion, such as the elderly, divorcees and widows or widowers,” Rod Duclos, an assistant professor who was involved in the study, added in a news release obtained by the magazine. “Others may be tempted to isolate, physically or psychologically, prospective clients during financial negotiations since doing so may result in larger commissions.”

He added, “By illustrating how common experiences such as feeling rejected or accepted can affect consumers’ financial decisions, our research can help people make more informed decisions.”

The study will soon be published in the Journal of Consumer Research.

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