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Abstract

While slot machine gambling research in behavior analysis is on the rise, we still have many unanswered questions. Exploring the putative discriminative functions a series of reel outcomes might have on the perceived likelihood of future success (i.e., winning) might prove useful in understanding what motivates gamblers to continue gambling despite losses. In the current study, undergraduate participants watched eight videos of five reel spins each of varying win and loss (including near-miss) outcomes. Participants then provided estimations of the likelihood of winning on five upcoming hypothetical spins. While participants viewed their chances of winning as poor, strategic placement of wins and near misses influenced the probability of winning endorsed. Most importantly, idiosyncratic patterns differed markedly from grouped and overall-averaged data. A call is made to emphasize more single-subject analyses in gambling research.

Supplementary Graphs.pdf (184 kB)
Supplement to Witts et al., 2016

 

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