Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program

Behavior Analysis and Therapy


Dixon, Mark R.


When gambling in a casino, there are many factors (other than the games itself) that add to the effects of the experience. The social contingencies have a large influence over the amount a patron will bet and time spent at the casino. Previous studies also show the use of confederates will have an influence over the rate of the observed behavior. Researchers chose to utilize a confederate to gamble and display excitement when a win was reached throughout all sessions. Researchers also manipulated the speed at which the simulated slot machine spins as well as the win rate. These manipulated phases were alternated between 8 total phases. Five graduate students between the ages of 21-30 played these 8 phases on the simulated slot machine with the confederate gambling simultaneously. The design was reversed for two of the participants to determine if there was a sequence effect. Results displayed that participants chose to bet the maximum amount of credits more often during the phases with the higher win rate than in the phases with the quicker spinning reels. Clinical limitations and recommendations for future research are discussed.