Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Event Details

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Symposium #378
Insight to Various Factors Affecting Gambling Behavior
Monday, May 26, 2008
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Chicago & Alton
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Adam D. Hahs (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Gambling has become a more prevalent part of today's society as it affects a higher percentage of people each year and its' revenue far exceeds that of sports, music, and movies combined. Therefore, the present symposium extends the existing literature regarding the analysis of, as well as factors affecting, gambling behavior. Furthermore, a relatively diverse analysis of the various types of games typical to the casino was conducted. Factors such as relational responding, the use of confederates, and risks involved with respect to specific casino games are discussed.
Effect of Confederate Presence, Betting and Play when Participants Play Blackjack.
CASEY LEE MCDOUGALL (University of North Dakota), Guy Keener (University of North Dakota ), Jeffrey N. Weatherly (University of North Dakota)
Abstract: The present study investigated whether the actions of a confederate would alter how participants played Blackjack. Sixteen males were recruited to participate in six different gambling sessions. In one, the participant gambled alone. In the remaining five, one confederate was present. Across these five conditions, the presence (leaves early vs. stays and plays), amount bet by (minimum vs. maximum amount), and style of play (deviating from vs. making the optimal play) of the confederate varied. Results suggest that participants' gambling was altered by the behavior of the confederate. The present results thus inform of us of factors that may promote, as well as inhibit, gambling behavior.
The Effects of Peer-Modeling on Amount and Placement of Bets in a Modified Roulette Game.
ADAM D. HAHS (Southern Illinois University), Becky L. Nastally (Southern Illinois University), Nicholas Mui (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University), Mollie J. Horner-King (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: The current study investigated the effect of a confederate player on the amount and placement of bets during a Roulette game in a lab setting with modified rules. Participants were given a preset amount of chips and provided with a task analysis of possible bets and how to play the game. The design utilized was an ABAB design. During the A conditions, participants played alone with the experimenter who acted as dealer. During the B conditions, participants were joined by a confederate player who yoked his bets to the amount and placement of participants’ bets established in baseline. Results and implications will be discussed with risk and reinforcement coefficients as auxiliary measures.
The Effect Risking Money has on Laboratory Gambling Behavior.
ELLEN MEIER (University of North Dakota), Jeffrey N. Weatherly (University of North Dakota)
Abstract: The present experiment tested the idea that participants would play more hands, bet more credits, and make more mistakes in play when gambling on video poker when the credits they were gambling had no monetary value than when they were worth money. Participants were males and females who were 21 years of age or older and who were not pathological gamblers. Participants played two back-to-back sessions of video poker. During one, the credits they were staked had no monetary value. In the other, the credits were worth $0.05 each and participants were paid at the end of the experiment for any money they had accumulated or had remaining. Results showed that participants played more hands and bet more credits when the credits had no monetary value than when they were worth money. Credit value did not, however, significantly influence how accurately participants played. The present results have implications for the validity of laboratory-based gambling research.
Reversing Derived Rule Governed Slot Preferences.
BECKY L. NASTALLY (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: The present study extends the prior research on relational responding and the transformation of stimulus functions that can impact preference for slot machines when concurrently available to a gambler. Subjects were initially exposed to a concurrent RR/RR schedule of equal probability of reinforcement. Following an assessment of baseline preference, all participants were exposed to a conditional discrimination training and testing procedure which established the contextual cues of more than and less than. The contextual stimuli were comprised of physical characteristics of the previously available slot machines. Re-expose to the slot task produced alterations in responding such that subjects favored the slot machine with features of the contextual cue “more than”. In attempts to further demonstrate experimental control, a reversal of function training and testing procedure took place where the contingencies paired with the various contextual cues were reversed. Upon final exposure to the slot task, subject preferences reversed as well.



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