Effects of limited and unlimited stakes on gambling behavior
The present study evaluated the effects of limited and unlimited stakes on motivational and cognitive activities of roulette players. Earlier studies have shown that irrational thinking dominates rational thinking during gambling. It was hypothesized that subjects in the limited stakes condition would be less motivated to play and would verbalize fewer irrational cognitions than subjects who were allowed to bet freely. Two groups of 15 individuals played 50 trials of American roulette. The results showed that, although each group emitted more irrational than rational thoughts, there was no difference between the groups in the percentage of irrational verbalizations. One unexpected difference between the groups was found. Subjects in the limited stakes condition made riskier bets than subjects in the unlimited stakes condition. Possible explanations for this difference are discussed.
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