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Document Type

Article

Abstract

The present study examined the degree to which slot machine
near-miss trials, or trials that displayed 2 of 3 winning symbols on
the payoff line, affected response times and win estimations of 12
recreational slot machine players. Participants played a
commercial slot machine in a casino-like laboratory for course
extra-credit points. Videotaped sessions were later coded to
assess trial types and participant response latencies and win
estimations for each participant. Results show that all 12
participants emitted verbalizations suggesting near-miss trials
were of a higher approximation to a win than non-near-miss losing
trials. Of the 12 participants 8 also demonstrated higher response
latencies following losing trials than following winning trials.
Variations across participants' response latencies were attributed
to the presence of and response to near miss trials. The
implications of the near-miss on game preference, resistance to
extinction, and the development of a behavioral treatment for
pathological gamblers are discussed.

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