Science & Technology

Everyone Thinks It’s True, but Near Misses on Slot Machines May Not Encourage Continued Gambling

A brand new examine by College of Alberta researchers is analyzing the connection between near-miss occasions and chronic playing conduct.

You enter your quarter into the slot machine and hit the button. Two lemons and a cherry seem in entrance of you—near a win, but not fairly. For practically 70 years, researchers believed that near-miss occasions like these would encourage you to proceed playing. But new analysis from College of Alberta scientists means that the near-miss impact could not exist in any respect. 

The mission, led by current Ph.D. graduate Jeffrey Pisklak and MSc graduate Joshua Yong, examined the connection between near-miss occasions and chronic playing conduct in each human and animal topics. 

“Throughout species, we weren’t in a position to replicate the discovering that close to misses brought on a rise within the price of play, regardless of a widespread perception that that is what ought to happen,” mentioned Pisklak, who performed the analysis beneath the supervision of Marcia Spetch, professor within the Division of Psychology within the College of Science. “Furthermore, our overview of the literature urged that there are issues and inconsistencies within the beforehand cited proof for a close to miss impact.” 

In actual fact, whereas near-miss occasions have beforehand been discovered to have an effect on mind exercise and different subjective measurements, there appears to be no conclusive, replicable proof to indicate that near-miss occasions encourage playing persistence. Nonetheless, Pisklak added, there are nonetheless many different components that do encourage individuals to proceed playing.

“Casinos are very efficient at getting individuals to gamble their cash for a plethora of causes—it simply occurs to be the case that close to misses might not be one in every of them for most individuals,” added Pisklak. “The truth that we weren’t in a position to replicate the near-miss impact doesn’t imply that individuals are any much less weak to exploitation by different means.”

As for the subsequent step, Pisklak encourages his fellow scientists to proceed analyzing this matter. “No examine is ideal. We hope individuals will try their very own replications and specifically take a look at different populations—equivalent to downside gamblers—to find out the generality of our findings.”

Reference: “The Near-Miss Impact in Slot Machines: A Evaluation and Experimental Evaluation Over Half a Century Later” by Jeffrey M. Pisklak, Joshua J. H. Yong and Marcia L. Spetch, 14 September 2019, Journal of Gambling Research.
DOI: 10.1007/s10899-019-09891-8

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