Advertisement

Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 32, Issue 2, pp 689–706 | Cite as

Near Misses in Slot Machine Gambling Developed Through Generalization of Total Wins

  • Jordan Belisle
  • Mark R. Dixon
Original Paper

Abstract

The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the development of the near miss effect in slot machine gambling as a product of stimulus generalization from total wins. The study was conducted across two experiments. Twelve college students participated in the first experiment, which demonstrated that greater post-reinforcement pauses followed losing outcomes that were formally similar to total wins, relative to losing outcomes that were formally dissimilar [F (5, 7) = 5.24, p = .025] along a generalization gradient (R 2 = .96). Additionally, 11 out of 12 participants showed greater response latencies following near-misses than following total wins. Thirteen college students participated in the second experiment, which demonstrated that symbols that more saliently indicated a loss resulted in lower response latencies than functionally equivalent but visually dissimilar losing symbols [F (3, 10) = 15.50, p = .01]. A generalization gradient was observed across winning symbols (R 2 = .98), and an inverse of the gradient observed across winning symbols was observed across symbols that were the least formally similar (R 2 = .69). The present study replicates and extends previous research on near misses in slot machine gambling, and provides discussion around the clinical utility of such findings on the prevention of problem gambling.

Keywords

Near misses Gambling Generalization Discrimination Slot machine 

References

  1. Abbott, M. W. (2001). Problem and non-problem gamblers in New Zealand: A report on phase two of the 1999 national prevalence survey. Report number six of the New Zealand gaming surve. Wellington: Department of Internal Affairs.Google Scholar
  2. Billieux, J., Van der Linden, M., Khazaal, Y., Zullino, D., & Clark, L. (2012). Trait gambling cognitions predict near-miss experiences and persistence in laboratory slot machine gambling. British Journal of Psychology, 103, 412–427.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Bouton, M. E. (1993). Context, time, and memory retrieval in the inference paradigms of Pavlovian learning. Psychological Bulletin, 114(1), 80–99.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. Clark, L. (2010). Decision-making during gambling: an integration of cognitive and psychobiological approaches. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 365, 319–330.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  5. Clark, L., Crooks, B., Clarke, R., Aitken, M. R. F., & Dunn, B. D. (2011). Physiological responses to near-miss outcomes and personal control during simulated gambling. Journal of Gambling Studies, 28, 123–137.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Clark, L., Lawrence, A. J., Astley-Jones, F., & Gray, N. (2009). Gambling near-misses enhance motivation to gamble and recruit win-related brain circuitry. Neuron, 61, 481–490.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  7. Cote, D., Caron, A., Aubert, J., Desrochers, V., & Ladouceur, R. (2003). Near miss prolong gambling on a video lottery terminal. Journal of Gambling Studies, 19(4), 433–438.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Delfabbro, P. H., & Winefield, A. H. (1999). Poker machine gambling: An analysis of within session characteristics. British Journal of Psychology, 90, 425–439.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Dixon, M. J., MacLaren, V., Jarick, M., Fugelsang, J. A., & Harrigan, K. A. (2012). The frustrating effects of just missing the jackpot: Slot machine near-misses trigger large skin conductance responses, but no post reinforcement pauses. Journal of Gambling Studies. doi: 10.1007/s10899-012-9333-x.Google Scholar
  10. Dixon, M. R., & MacLin, O. H. (2003). Visual basic 2005 for psychologists. Reno, NV: Context Press.Google Scholar
  11. Dixon, M. R., & Schreiber, J. B. (2002). Utilizing a computerized video poker simulation for the collection of data on gambling behavior. The Psychological Record, 52, 417–428.Google Scholar
  12. Dixon, M. R., & Schreiber, J. E. (2004). Near-miss effects on response latencies and win estimations of slot machine players. The Psychological Record, 45, 335–348.Google Scholar
  13. Felton, M., & Lyon, D. O. (1966). The post reinforcement pause. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 9(2), 131–134.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  14. Foxall, G. R., & Sigurdsson, V. (2012). When loss rewards: The near-miss effect in slot machine gambling. Analysis of Gambling Behavior, 6, 5–22.Google Scholar
  15. Ghirlanda, S., & Enquist, M. (2003). A century of generalization. Animal Behaviour, 66(1), 15–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Griffiths, M. (1991). Psychobiology of the near-miss in fruit machine gambling. Journal of Psychology, 125, 347–357.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Habib, R., & Dixon, M. R. (2010). Neurobehavioral evidence for the “near-miss” effect in pathological gamblers. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 93, 313–328.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  18. Harrigan, K. A., & Dixon, M. (2010). Government sanctioned “tight” and “loose” slot machines: How having multiple versions of the same slot machine game may impact problem gambling. Journal of Gambling Studies, 26, 159–174.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Hineline, P. N. (1977). Negative reinforcement and avoidance. In W. K. Honig & J. E. R. Staddon (Eds.), Handbook of operant behavior. New York: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
  20. Hoon, A., Dymond, S., Jackson, J. W., & Dixon, M. R. (2008). Contextual control of slot-machine gambling: replication and extension. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 41, 467–470.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  21. Kassinove, H. I., & Schare, M. L. (2001). Effects of the near-miss and the big win on persistence at slot-machine gambling. Psychology and Addictive Behavior, 15, 155–158.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Ladouceur, R., & Walker, M. (1996). A cognitive perspective on gambling. In P. M. Salkavskis (Ed.), Trends in cognitive and behavioural therapies. Chichester, UK: Wiley.Google Scholar
  23. Langer, E. J. (1975). The illusion of control. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 32, 311–328.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lesieur, H. R., & Blume, S. B. (1987). The south oaks gambling screening (SOGS): A new instrument for the identification of pathological gamblers. American Journal of Psychiatry, 144(9), 1184–1188.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. MacLin, O. H., & Dixon, M. R. (2004). A computerized simulation for investigating gambling behavior during roulette play. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, and Computers, 36(1), 96–100.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. MacLin, O. H., Dixon, M. R., Daugherty, D., & Small, S. L. (2007). Using a computer simulation of three slot machines to investigate a gambler’s preference among varying densities of near-miss alternatives. Behavioral Research Methods, 39(2), 237–241.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. MacLin, O. H., Dixon, M. R., & Hayes, L. J. (1999). A computerized slot machine simulation to investigate the variables involved in gambling behavior. Behavior Research Methods, 31(4), 731–734.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Nastally, B. L., & Dixon, M. R. (2012). The effect of a brief acceptance and commitment therapy intervention on the near miss effect in problem gamblers. Psychological Record, 62(4), 677–690.Google Scholar
  29. Parke, A., & Griffiths, M. (2004). Gambling addiction and the evolution of the “near-miss”. Addiction Research and Therapy, 12, 407–411.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Peters, H., Hunt, M., & Harper, D. (2010). An animal model of slot machine gambling: The effect of structural characteristics on response latency and persistence. Journal of Gambling Studies, 26(4), 521–531.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. Potenza, M. N. (2014). The neural bases of cognitive processes in gambling disorder. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 18(8), 429–438.CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  32. Reid, R. L. (1986). The psychology of the near miss. Journal of Gambling Behavior, 2(1), 32–39.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Schull, N. D. (2012). Addiction by design: Machine gambling in Las Vegas. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  34. Schreiber, J., & Dixon, M. R. (2001). Temporal characteristics of behavior on random-ratio schedules observed during slot machine play. Psychological Reports, 89, 67–72.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Skinner, B. F. (1953). Science and human behavior. New York, NY: Appleton Century-Crofts.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Southern Illinois UniversityCarbondaleUSA

Personalised recommendations