national research project- “psychological limit of lottery purchase”

“Psychological limit of lottery purchase”, the national humanities and social science fund project, by Center researcher Chen Haiping.



       Lottery is a rapid developing industry. There are more than 150 countries issuing lottery, of witch, more than 70 countries are issuing sports lottery and more than 30 countries are issuing football lottery. It is said that lottery industry abroad has been growing at the speed of 18% and annual sales is beyond thousands of billions dollars, is called the sixth largest industry. It is different in china, which has banned the lottery, didn’t issue the first “social welfare prize collecting coupons” lottery until 1987, and issued the first sports lottery in 1994. Despite the short time, the speed of development of china’s lottery is very impressive. According to the Ministry of Finance website news, sports lottery and welfare lottery sales reached 132.479 billion yuan in 2009, an increase of 25.0%. China has entered the ranks of the world’s ten largest lottery sales.
       Issuing lottery contributes to country collecting idle capital to promote development of social public affairs, regulating social income gap and enriching people’s cultural and recreational life, with powerful socio-economic functions and lottery public welfare fund plays an enormous role in supporting the disabled affairs, assisting Beijing Olympic Came, building public sports facilities, building youth extracurricular activities and subsidies for urban and rural medical aid funds and so on. But with the rapid development of china’s lottery, the negative phenomena, such as the poor purchasing lottery, problem lottery buyer and private lottery flooding in local area, aroused people's wide concern, in which the most prominent is problem lottery buyers. 360 million lottery jackpot trigger the frenzy for purchasing lottery, one case that bank clerk from Handan of Hebei theft capital from treasury to buy lottery, another case that Zhou Yiming from Nanjing of Jiangsu killed his wife, which attract people’s attention. These phenomena, which many people blame on lottery buyer’s abnormal mind, the irrationality of behavior of buyer, propaganda misleading, unreasonable play methods, is under controversy and discussion.
       Lottery is a game, easy to make people addictive, even commit a crime, which causes a decision-making confusion: what is the limit of expanding lottery sales? On the one hand, from the lottery management perspective, compared to those powerful countries for lottery sales, lottery sales per capita in china is still relatively low and private lottery overflow in local area, which shows that there is huge space for development of china’s lottery. On the other hand, a few people are addicted to buying lottery, which brings social problem, even cause crime, affecting social harmony and stability. Facing this situation, policy-makers are in dilemma: promoting vigorously lottery sales may be accused of collecting money regardless of someone’s welfare, on the contrary, not promoting lottery sales may be accused of giving up eating for fear of choking, letting china’s lottery industry falling behind powerful countries for lottery sales and ignoring social public welfare responsibility.
       The only way out of the difficulties, researcher Chen Haiping think, is that we should research on psychological, behavioral and decision-making characteristics of lottery buyer under the condition of china’s special culture and law background and according to psychological characteristics of buyer, design lottery variety, style and propaganda strategy and prevent problem lottery buyer. The particularly important problems in that is rationality of lottery purchase. According to foreign researches, problem lottery buyers are a handful of gaming group, which indicates that a lot of gamblers put their behavior in a reasonable and accessible range. There is a psychological limit of gambling input, beyond which problem lottery buyer become pathological gamblers. In addition, lottery buyers, on one thing, temped by reward, have impulse to add their inputs to increase the chance of winning, on another, constrained by the extremely low possibility and less disposable income, have to limit their input intently. It means that lottery buyers need to balance the both above, set the limit and decide lottery input under the premise of satisfying real constraint. The aim of the study is to explore psychological limit that lottery buyer set on purpose or by accident——rational lottery purchase.

The progress of the project
       “Online investigation on behavior of china’s lottery buyer” was launched on September 22, 2011. The investigation contained 5 designed questionnaires, technical support by China Lottery net, research channel by welfare lottery and sports lottery official website ( China Lottery Net, China Sports Lottery Net), lottery major portals and local welfare lottery and sports lottery website ( Sohu, Sina, Tencent, NetEase, Chinese Lottery Net, Lottery Village, Taobao, People Net lootery, Inner Mongolia welfare lottery, Long Jiang welfare lottery), focusing on the demographic characteristics and behavior of lottery purchase, identifying characteristics of problem lottery buyer, belief of lottery purchase, personality characteristics of lottery buyer and behavior of irrational lottery purchase and influencing factors, investigating the behavioral awareness. The investigation lasted 3 months, and ended up officially in December 20, 2011, and collected 176213 questionnaires. Currently, Chen Haiping is sorting and analyzing the data will report the results and conclusions, which will be release in the website.