ERIC Number: EJ828806
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jan
Abstractor: As Provided
Slot Machines: Pursuing Responsible Gaming Practices for Virtual Reels and Near Misses
Harrigan, Kevin A.
International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, v7 n1 p68-83 Jan 2009
Since 1983, slot machines in North America have used a computer and virtual reels to determine the odds. Since at least 1988, a technique called clustering has been used to create a high number of near misses, failures that are close to wins. The result is that what the player sees does not represent the underlying probabilities and randomness, and this misrepresented outcome will have some effect on the player's perceptions of the game, which may lead directly to classical and operant conditioning, the frustration effect, the perception of early wins, illusion of control, biased evaluation of outcomes, entrapment, and irrational thinking. We use transcripts of Nevada hearings to show that the initial proponents understood that virtual reels and near misses may have a detrimental psychological effect on the player. We conclude by suggesting that jurisdictions should consider the historical facts and research presented in this paper when pursuing responsible gaming practices for slot machines.
Descriptors: Operant Conditioning, Probability, Classical Conditioning, Behavior Modification, Deception, State Regulation, Public Policy, Addictive Behavior, Risk, Recreational Activities, Health Promotion, Public Health, Computers, Information Technology, Hearings
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Nevada; North America