This study investigated the effect of changes in prize volatility and presence or absence of an anticipatory stimulus signally reward on verbal ratings, playing behaviour, and biometric responses in casual and frequent electronic gaming machine (EGM) players. Biometric measurements of 129 participants were recorded while they played an actual EGM with money provided by the experimenters. However, only the data from 95 participants were analysed. Participants were first connected to biometric sensors to record their heart rate and galvanic skin responses, and completed a demographic questionnaire. All participants then played an EGM game for 10 minutes. After playing the EGM game, they either played the same EGM game or a different EGM game for another 10 minutes in accord with their experimental condition. The second game was characterized by one of four conditions, (a) low volatility, absence of anticipatory stimulus, (b) low volatility, presence of anticipatory stimulus, (c) high volatility, absence of anticipatory stimulus, and (d) high volatility, presence of anticipatory stimulus. After 20 minutes of EGM play, participants completed the Canadian Problem Gambling Index (CPGI; Ferris & Wynne, 2001). Statistical results revealed that the volatility condition had a significant effect on how quickly a player would bet. That is, players bet later in conditions with higher volatility. Furthermore, frequent players bet later than casual players. There was a significant interaction between volatility and player type, but the anticipatory stimulus condition was not found to have a significant effect on playing behaviour.



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