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.


31st Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2005

Event Details

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Symposium #38
Can Behavior Analysis Provide a Comprehensive Account of Gambling?
Saturday, May 28, 2005
2:30 PM–3:50 PM
Boulevard B (2nd floor)
Area: EAB; Domain: Basic Research
Chair: Ginger R. Wilson (University of Nevada, Reno)

This symposium will address psychophysiological and behavioral economic issues pertaining to gambling behavior.

Sources of Bias in Slot Machine Gambling: Exploring the Matching Law
OTTO H. MACLIN (University of Northern Iowa), Justin Albrechtsen (University of Northern Iowa), Dustin Daugherty (University of Northern Iowa)
Abstract: Much of the research examining gambling has examined problem gambling. Less research has focused on extending findings from earlier animal research. Baum (1974) described four sources of bias found with pigeons 1) response bias, 2) discrepancy between scheduled and obtained reinforcers, 3) qualitatively different reinforcers, and 4) qualitatively different schedules. The research presented here examines the four sources of bias using the dual monitor preference paradigm. In this paradigm humans are allowed to play side-by-side slot machine simulations displayed on separate monitors connected to the same computer. Results indicate biases found earlier with pigeons exist with human gambling.
The Utility of Psychophysiological Measures in Gambling Research
JEFFREY E. DILLEN (Southern Illinois University), Mark R. Dixon (Southern Illinois University), Ashton J. Robinson (Southern Illinois University)
Abstract: The employment of psychophysiological measures within the gambling literature is severely deficient. As such, a series of studies were conducted utilizing psychophysiological measures within and across a gambling context and game type, respectively. In particular, electroencephalography, galvanic skin response, heart rate, and blood pressure volume were measured while participants played simulated slot machines. Results indicated that although behavioral measures are orderly and predictable across participants, physiological responses varied substantially. Therefore, physiological measures may have utility when assessing some gamblers, but not all. Rather it is the function which gambling serves (i.e., physiological arousal, escape from demands, or social attention) that dictates the degree to which physiological measures have utility in the analysis of gambling behavior. This paper will additionally illustrate the ease of incorporating biofeedback training to reduce physiological arousal for those gamblers engaging in the behavior for a physiological function.
Hypothetical Opportunities to Gamble: Are These Also Subject to Discount by Delay?
BRADY J. PHELPS (South Dakota State University), Alison E. Finstad (South Dakota State University), Gianna M. Harty (South Dakota State University)
Abstract: Since gamblers and other individuals with under-controlled behaviors will discount hypothetical amounts of money if these are delayed, a study was conducted to see if individuals with various amounts of gambling experience would also devalue or discount imagined opportunities to gamble. Different duration imagined gambling opportunities, from 1 min to 72 hours, were presented to gamblers either at an immediate availability or at a delay of minutes or hours. The delay intervals were kept to shorter time frames, 72 hours as a maximum, in an attempt to use delays with more social validity than some studies asking subjects imagine waiting years for some outcome. Data are being collected at present.



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