Determining whether “gambling” behavior in the laboratory differs as a function of whether or not participants are risking actual money is important because the outcome will determine whether results from laboratory research can be genera-lized to actual gambling. Eighteen participants played video poker in two sepa-rate sessions. In one, they risked credits that had no monetary value and in the other they risked credits worth money. Results showed that participants played a similar number of hands and played with similar accuracy regardless of whether or not the credits had monetary value. However, participants risked significantly fewer credits when the credits were worth money than when they were not. These results suggest that findings from studies on gambling that do not have participants risk real money may indeed generalize to actual gambling, but that making such generalizations should be done with caution as the amount of risk people are willing to take may be overestimated.



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