The present investigation explored the presence of illusory control in recreation-al video poker players. Using a multi-monitor computer which allowed for two different types of games to be presented concurrently, one on each monitor, players were allowed to freely choose which game they wished to play. One option allowed for the player to select the cards they wished to hold and discard, while the other option was designed such that the computer automatically se-lected the most probabilistically optimal sequence of cards to hold and discard. In the first experiment, two groups of ten participants were exposed to one of two rules (accurate or inaccurate) regarding the chances of winning. No differ-ences in response allocations between the games were found. In the second experiment, thirteen participants were sequentially exposed to a non-rule base-line followed by an inaccurate and subsequently accurate rule. Twelve of the thirteen players preferred the self-selecting game, and following the introduction of an experimenter given rule that was designed to strengthen the illusion (i.e., that the self-selecting option was better), most players increased their preference for this option. However, following the introduction of an experimenter given rule that attempted to weaken the illusion, only about half the participants fol-lowed that rule and reduced playing the self-selecting option. Variability across participants was able to be explained by examining each player’s verbal talk which was emitted overtly throughout the duration of the experiment. Implica-tions for understanding the illusion of control and the verbal behavior of gam-blers are presented.
Dixon, Mark R.; Jackson, James W.; Delaney, Jennifer; Holton, Bethany; and Crothers, Martha C.
"Assessing and Manipulating The Illusion of Control of Video Poker Players,"
Analysis of Gambling Behavior: Vol. 1
, Article 2.
Available at: https://repository.stcloudstate.edu/agb/vol1/iss2/2