Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 23, Issue 1, pp 1–12 | Cite as

An Experiment on the Social Facilitation of Gambling Behavior

  • Matthew Justus Rockloff
  • Victoria Dyer
Original Paper


Research and theory regarding the social facilitation effect generates the expectation that the presence of other gamblers (or co-actors) in a gaming venue is likely to intensify individual gambling behavior and magnify losses. Fifty male and 66 female participants (116 total) played a computer-simulated electronic gaming machine with a fixed winning sequence, followed by an indefinite losing sequence. Measures of the intensity of gambling behavior included the final payout (a direct measure of losses), average bet-size, number of trials played, and the speed of play. Some participants received false feedback from the computer designed to suggest that other gamers in adjacent rooms were playing and sometimes winning at the same game. Persons who received both sight and sound information, including winning bells and instant messages regarding the wins of other (fake) players, placed more bets and lost more money compared to the other conditions with less information.


Slot Fruit Poker Group polarization Group effects Social influence Gambling 



This research was supported by a grant from the Queensland Treasury Department, Australia.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Psychology and SociologyCentral Queensland UniversityRockhamptonAustralia

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