Situational or contextual factors involved in slot machine gambling, such as colors, are assumed to play an important role in initiating and maintaining gambling. However, there is little empirical evidence for this assumption. The present study sought to investigate the effects of manipulating two contextual factors (the background colors of computer-simulated slot machines) on participants‟ responding to two concurrently available slot machines. Following a pretest, a nonarbitrary relational training and testing procedure was used to establish contextual functions of MORE-THAN and LESS-THAN for two cues. During posttest, participants allocated the majority of their responses to the slot machine that shared nonarbitrary properties with the contextual cue for MORE-THAN, despite the identical payout probabilities of the slot machines. Overall, the present findings demonstrate that participants‟ preferences for one of two concurrently available slot machines may come under contextual control. The advantages of the present approach to investigating the role played by situational factors such as colors in maintaining slot machine gambling are discussed.



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