The current study attempted to alter preferences for concurrently available slot machines of equal payout through the development of equivalence classes and subsequent transfers of functions. Participants rated stimuli consisting of words thought to be associated with having a gambling problem (e.g., desperation and debt), words associated with overcoming a gambling problem (e.g., happiness and wealth), and various colors according to level of “pleasantness.” Next, participants alternated play between two simulated casinos, each containing two slot machines. Equivalence classes were formed between pleasantly and aversively rated stimuli, stimuli associated with the slot machines at each casino, and neutral color stimuli. Intermittent reexposure to the various casino and slot machine options demonstrated that preferences could be altered based on derived transfer of emotive functions via equivalence relations.
Dixon, Mark R.; Bihler, Holly L.; and Nastally, Becky L.
"Slot Machine Preferences of Pathological and Recreational Gamblers Are Verbally Constructed,"
The Psychological Record:
1, Article 6.
Available at: http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/tpr/vol61/iss1/6