Date of Award

5-1-2014

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Behavior Analysis and Therapy

First Advisor

Dixon, Mark

Abstract

The near-miss effect has been demonstrated to maintain gambling behavior by producing physiological changes or thoughts that an individual has "almost won" or was "close" to a winning outcome when, in fact, they lost. Participants were asked to rate each outcome presented on a 10-point Likert scale regarding how close they perceived an outcome was to a win on an automated slot machine created on a Visual Basic program. Data was analyzed for differences between similar outcomes presented with and without an auditory stimulus. Near-miss outcomes presented with an auditory stimulus were rated significantly higher than near-miss outcomes without an auditory stimulus on average across participants. Implications may reveal the effects auditory stimuli on modernized slot machines have on gambling behavior and options for treatment.

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