Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


35th Annual Convention; Phoenix, AZ; 2009

Event Details

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Symposium #168
BIG SIG 3: Emerging Topics in the Analysis of Gambling Behavior
Sunday, May 24, 2009
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
North 227 BC
Area: EAB; Domain: Experimental Analysis
Chair: Jessica L. Fouch (Southern Illinois University)
Discussant: Charles A. Lyons (Eastern Oregon University)
Abstract: Gambling is one of the most prominent behaviors in today's society. With that comes the necessity for focus on a better understanding of the variety of behaviors in which gamblers may engage, and novel topics which develop as a result. Therefore, the present symposium is organized to address these emerging topics (along with others) and provide insight to the future of an analysis of gambling behavior.
Testing the concurrent validity of the Gambling Function Assessment
JEFFREY N. WEATHERLY (University of North Dakota), Joseph Miller (University of North Dakota), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University), Amanda Parker (Chicago Education Project), Ashley Kuland (University of North Dakota)
Abstract: Concurrent validity of the Gambling Functional Assessment (GFA; Dixon & Johnson, 2007) was assessed by comparing its performance versus the South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS; Lesieur & Blume, 1987) in two nonclinical adult samples from two different U.S. cities. In the first sample, the correlations between GFA total scores and its four content scores with SOGS scores were promising, with the content score relating to the consequence of Escape yielding the highest correlation. Scores on the Escape consequence again performed well in the second sample, where the SOGS-defined base rate of pathological gambling was high. The results suggest that the GFA content area of escape shows promise at classifying pathological versus non-pathological gamblers.
Within Session Changes in Responding during Simulated Slot Machine Play
DANIEL H. SUTICH (University of Nevada, Reno), Patrick M. Ghezzi (University of Nevada)
Abstract: The study of simulated slot machine play is still in its infancy and yet the future appears promising for this type of research and for gambling research more generally. One line of research not yet undertaken is the study of habituation as it applies to gambling behavior. Habituation has been shown to affect responding in many other areas and is a process that presumably is present during slot play as well. The first group played on a simulated slot machine program designed to recreate conditions under which habituation is likely to occur. The second group played under conditions where habituation was not likely to occur. Results indicate that habituation can affect the duration of slot machine play.
Examining effects of different types of information on slot machine play
NICHOLAS MUI KER LIK (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University), Adam D. Hahs (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: Problem gambling may be maintained by rules, and contradicting the beliefs about the games may decrease gambling behavior. Many treatment approaches ascribe to this belief, and provide information about the social and psychological problems associated with gambling and why problem gamblers should seek treatment. Despite the wealth of information regarding the social and financial costs of gambling, the American Gaming Association reported gross revenues of $90,930,000,000 in 2006. The question arises as to whether simply providing information about psychosocial issues related to gambling is enough to reduce gambling behavior. The current study assessed the effects of providing psychoeducational information from leading treatment sources such as Gamblers Anonymous versus providing accurate information about the independence of turns and the diminishing returns on the number of trials played and number of credits bet on a slot machine task per session. University students were recruited for the study, and were assigned to one of the following information conditions: control (no information), psychoeducational, independence of turns, diminishing returns, or both independence of turns and diminishing returns. The results and implications of the study will be discussed



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