Preference and persistence in slot machine play are not yet fully understood. Two areas of research that might help discover variables related to preference and persistence are habituation and delay-reduction. Habituation research might account for persistence in considering how repetitive, differential, and novel stimulus presentations influence responding to slot machines. Delay reduction theory asserts that preference should be given to any machine that, in some form, signals a delay to a win. We investigated preference and persistence via habituation and delayreduction with near-equivalent slot machine arrangements across two experiments. Results showed that repetitive stimulus presentations led to shorter persistence compared to a slot machine that produced differential stimulus presentations and that preference was given to a machine with fewer schedule-correlated brief stimulus presentations, both conforming to predictions from their respective literatures. This paper demonstrates how one machine preparation can test for multiple hypotheses and sets the stage for habituation and delay-reduction gambling research.



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