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Journal of Gambling Studies

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 55–61 | Cite as

The Relationship Between Reinforcement and Gaming Machine Choice

  • John Haw
Original Paper

Abstract

The present study assessed whether prior reinforcement experiences were related to gaming machine choice and the decision to change gaming machines during a session of gambling. Seventy undergraduate students (48 women, 22 men; mean age = 22.05 years) were presented with two visually identical simulated gaming machines in a practice phase. These simulated machines differed only in the rate of reinforcement. After the practice phase, participants were asked to choose a machine to play in the test phase and were allowed to change machines at will. Two measures of reinforcement were employed; frequency of wins and payback rate. Results indicated that neither measure of reinforcement was related to machine choice, but both were predictors of when participants changed machines. A post-hoc analysis of the 33 participants who changed machines during the test phase found a significant relationship between machine choice and prior reinforcement. For these participants, payback rate was significantly related to machine choice, unlike frequency of wins.

Keywords

Reinforcement Win frequency Payback rate Gaming machine choice 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of PsychologyUniversity of Western SydneyPenrith South DCAustralia

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