A-level pupils to study gambling
Teenagers could learn about the psychology behind gambling addiction as part
of a planned new A-level course.
The OCR exam board wants to introduce the topic to its psychology A-level in
a bid to make exams more relevant.
The board said the subject was very topical for young people with an
estimated 33 million British adults gambling every week.
OCR, which has sought approval for the draft A-level from the exams
regulator, wants to offer it from September 2008.
The move comes as schools are being encouraged to make the subjects they
teach more relevant and accessible to pupils.
All pupils taking the exam would study the gambling module along with 14
other topics which form part of the draft A-level syllabus.
OCR psychology subject officer Diane Cole said: "With plans for the UK's
first super casino being reviewed by the government, the danger of gambling
addiction is very topical for students to cover as part of their A-level
Part of the new course draws from a report by gambling expert Professor Mark
Griffiths of Nottingham Trent University.
Prof Griffiths' examined aspects of gambling including the way some
participants talk to fruit machines and make irrational statements like: "The
machine likes me" or "I lost there because I wasn't concentrating".
He said A-level students did need to learn about the application of
psychology in "real world situations".
"Against a backdrop of gambling liberalisation and deregulation, gambling
addiction looks set to increase and educating students about gambling behaviour
will be of real interest," Prof Griffiths added.
Director of the Responsibility in Gambling Trust, Malcolm Bruce, said most
people who gamble did so responsibly but that they needed to be educated about
the potential risks.
"For some, however, gambling can become an addictive behaviour with
devastating consequences for themselves, their families and their friends.
"We need to know more about how and why gambling affects people in different