Research has shown that most individuals’ gambling is maintained more by positive, than by negative, reinforcement but that disordered gambling is more strongly related to gambling maintained by negative, than positive, reinforcement. Forty five participants were recruited to play video poker in two different sessions: one in which they competed for a $50 gift card and one in which they could play after trying to solve unsolvable anagrams. Higher measures of gambling were observed in the gift-card, than in the anagram, session, but none of the differences were statistically significant and the observed effect sizes were small. Participants’ annual income did predict their behavior in the gift-card, but not the anagram, session while their endorsing gambling as an escape on the Gambling Functional Assessment – Revised predicted their behavior in the anagram, but not the gift-card, session. Thus, the procedure failed to produce different gambling behavior as a function of manipulating the contingencies in the laboratory. However, the results replicate previous ones showing that certain subject variables are predictive of gambling behavior under certain situations.
Weatherly, Jeffrey N. Ph. D.; Mari, Katelyn; and Montes, Kevin S.
"Gambling in a Laboratory Setting: A Comparison of Gambling for Positive Reinforcement Versus as a Potential Escape,"
Analysis of Gambling Behavior: Vol. 6
, Article 4.
Available at: https://repository.stcloudstate.edu/agb/vol6/iss2/4