Gambling is an interesting pastime for people to engage with, in terms of both excitements and a scientific perspective. Gambling, such as playing casino games or betting on sports, is a fascinating thing to investigate due to how it can alter our brain and how it can make us feel.
When we place bets and wagers, chemicals are released in our brains, and these chemicals can affect our body in both positive and potentially nasty ways. Some people’s reactions to gambling are so intense and heightened that it’s not dissimilar to taking certain drugs.
With gambling having the potential of being such a powerful stimulus for humans, here’s a closer look at the science behind gambling.
The Reward Chemical
When you think about the fundamentals of betting and strip away its flashy façade, the action you’re doing when you place a bet is that you’re making a prediction. When you do this, you put yourself in a position where you can either be right, instigate a win, or make your prediction wrong, instigating a loss.
Now, making predictions isn’t inherently exciting, as we make predictions practically every day, such as ‘it might rain today’ or ‘that food’s probably fine to eat.’ However, what makes gambling an elevation of simple predictions is that people put a monetary value on them, creating stakes, and critically, a reward when we do win.
It this prospect of an award, either financially or in prizes, that makes gambling so enduring as getting paid out a handful of coins because you’ve done something correctly lets off a certain chemical in your brain: dopamine.
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that our nervous system uses to send messages between nerve cells and plays a big part in dictating how we feel pleasure. An increase of dopamine helps us feel giddy and happy and fulfilled and thus is designed to be a chemical that allows humans to grow and better themselves. We usually get it when we achieve something and do something well, and the good, positive feeling can make people more determined to do well again to get that hit.
This is why gambling is so popular because doing well at it makes us feel super good, so people play on and on and on in search of that win and that rush. This makes the hobby as rewarding as various other ones, be it excelling in a sport or playing a musical instrument, so why not have a go at jackpot city casino Canada, however, what gives it the edge is that its really easy and super accessible – which can cause problems.
The Dangers of Dopamine
Dopamine can be a highly addictive substance, and people can begin to grow more dependent on it as they seek the good feeling it provides. The problem here is that the more you receive, the more your body gets used to it, leading to people gaining addictions because they’re seeking this chemical to feel normal.
This is why gambling addictions are so common because people grow more and more desperate for that feeling of satisfaction to ultimately not feel anything because they’re overexposed to dopamine anyway. That’s why people need to gamble safely and limit themselves either financially or by budgeting their time spent engaged with this.
Gambling isn’t the only offender in this regard. Social media also has a similar reward system. Users got dopamine hits after receiving likes and comments, and shares, making people more dependent on the platforms and eventually their phones. The best way to avoid this is to reduce the time spent on these pastimes.