Date of Award
Master of Science
Behavior Analysis and Therapy
Modern slot machines have advanced audio and visual effects that can provide a player cues as to the outcomes of a spin. The three potential outcomes of a spin can be a loss, where no credits are earned (for a net loss in credits), a win, where credits are earned that are greater than the bet placed (for a net gain in credits), and a loss in which credits that are earned that are less than the bet placed (for an overall loss in credits). When audio and visual reinforcement that is similar to that which is presented for a win outcome is provided for a spin that earns credits that are less than the bet placed, the player may be fooled into thinking that the outcome is a win when it is actually a loss. This phenomenon is called a “loss disguised as a win”. Previous research has proven the efficacy of interventions on both verbal reporting and physiological arousal on slot machine players experiencing near-miss and losses disguised as wins. However, these have not been investigated at the same time. The author has conducted an experiment that measures both the verbal satisfaction rating and the physiological response of players experiencing the loss disguised as win phenomenon. Results show that a mindfulness intervention has an effect on both verbal satisfaction ratings and physiological arousal in players experiencing this phenomenon. Implications for future research are discussed.
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