How Your Personality Affects Your Predisposition to Gambling

There are many external factors that can lead to a person developing destructive problem gambling behaviors. However, rather than through a mental health disorder or exposure through friends and family, personality may be an indicator of whether or not one will become a gambler. To learn more, here’s a look at how your personality affects your predisposition to gambling behaviors.

How Myers-Briggs Personality Affects Gambling

In 1921, Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung published his book Psychological Types. Based on his cognitive function theory, he outlined that people had differing preferences for certain behaviors, such as being extroverted or introverted. During WWII, two women wanted to make it easier for individuals to identify their psychological type from Jung’s book and developed the Myers-Briggs test.

The Myers-Briggs test divides the personalities into sixteen types, based on a combination of four different traits — E for extroversion and I for introversion, for example. Many believe that these personality traits and types can influence one’s likelihood of gambling and develop problematic gambling behavior. For more information, here’s how your personality affects your predisposition to gambling based on each Myers-Briggs category.


Myers-Briggs types with SP traits are known as Explorers and are said to be bolder and more impulsive compared to other personalities, meaning that they can enjoy the risk of chance and can be drawn to it. ESTPs, in particular, may enjoy gambling because the thrill challenges them. Competitive personalities that like adventure, such as ESFP, can also feel the pull of gambling too.


Sentinels, having the SJ traits, tend to prioritize what they can see instead of what they feel. As a result, they may be less inclined to enjoy gambling. For instance, ISFJs may find gambling to be too reckless. On the other hand, ISTJ individuals may enjoy more skill-oriented games over luck-based ones, like playing cards.


The NF Diplomats are known for making decisions based on how they feel, so they can potentially enjoy gambling for its thrill. ENFPs like to challenge themselves, and gambling can offer such an opportunity. Meanwhile, INFJs commonly follow paths that are easy to predict and understand — which can’t be said for slot machines.


Having the NT traits, Analysts are logical and have strong problem-solving skills. This can lead them to enjoy gambling games that involve strategy, like blackjack. Some Analysts, such as ENTPS, may see gambling as a new hobby, whereas others, like INTJ, may consider it a new skill to master.

How Your Personality Dimension Affects Your Predisposition to Gambling

Of course, there are many other ways examine how your personality affects your predisposition to gambling, apart from Jung’s theories. Several studies over the years have tested whether there is any connection between an individual’s personality traits and gambling and have found results. One quantitative review found that, of the traits they tested, conscientiousness and neuroticism had the highest correlations. Because gambling can be used as a distraction for anxiety, it is easy to understand how neurotic personality affects gambling inclinations.

Another major trait that has been found to influence gambling is impulsivity, which is when a person has a tendency to act without thinking — a trait that can easily lead to problematic gambling behavior. However, not everyone with impulsivity will automatically become a problem gambler so long as they are able to delay gratification and have strong impulse control.

Now that you know more about how your personality affects your predisposition to gambling consider contacting 800-GAMBLER for more information. We have many resources for those struggling with pathological gambling behaviors, including gamblers’ anonymous support and videos about gambling. To learn more about how we can help, call us today.


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