Your Fantasy Football League Might Be Turning You Into a Psychopath

A new study suggests that people who gamble are more likely to lie, cheat, and lack empathy compared to those who don't.

If you’ve ever watched an episode to the FX Series “The League,” you might already be aware of what fantasy football can do to self-respecting doctors, lawyers, husbands, and fathers. But in case you missed it, recent research confirms that win or lose, gambling can turn you into a total psychopath. 

Published in the journal Psychological Reports, the study found that people who gamble were more likely to lie and cheat. However, the main concern was the display of callous behavior among gamblers, because it is a hallmark of psychopathy. 

Scientists uncovered this troubling trend after recruiting 308 college student gamblers—with 63.64 percent of them being young men—about their gambling habits and primary and secondary psychopathic traits. While primary psychopathy is thought to be more of a genetically inherited form of callousness and superficial charm, secondary psychopathy is more of a maladaptive set of personality traits, usually developed to deal with adversity. 

Results revealed that individuals who scored high on measurements of primary psychopathy were more likely to develop gambling problems. However, the researchers noted that people with gambling issues were also prone to developing symptoms of secondary psychopathy, likely due to the urgency to act on one’s impulses (often in a way that they’ll later regret) when gambling. 

In other words, gambling can lead us to make rash, impulsive decisions and behave like a secondary psychopath. But the good news is, because it’s an environmental problem, you’ll probably be fine after the season is over. 

To be fair, the researchers didn’t compare this to data on the mental health of people who don’t gamble, so it’s unclear if non-gamblers are any better. But winning is not the point, you psychos.