An exploratory study of the stopper device in modern slot machines - UBC Library Open Collections

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Gambling addiction hotline deceleration

Postby Yozshushakar В» 10.08.2019

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Refworks Account Login. Open Collections. UBC Theses and Dissertations. Featured Collection. Thirty student participants from UBC and 32 community participants from the Greater Vancouver area participated in the study. Unlike previous research on the effects of the stopper device e. Physiological arousal heart rate and skin conductance were monitored during game play.

Contrary to predictions, no significant relationships were observed in either sample between stopper use and the illusion of control. Stopper use was associated with faster speed of play, as measured by the spin initiation latencies. In addition, wins on trials where the stopper was used tended to increase ongoing stopper use, consistent with reinforcement via operant conditioning.

Wins elicited a significant increase in heart rate, but no connection was found between stopper use and physiological arousal. Overall, the pattern of data indicated that stopper use may be better explained in associative learning reinforcement and speed of play than by higher-level cognitive appraisals illusion of control. By increasing speed of play, stopper device may increase gambling losses and harms, and policy implications for the regulation of the stopper feature are considered.

I am responsible for the study design, study material preparation, data analysis and writing. My supervisor, Dr. Luke Clark, provided continuous guidance and inputs to this project. A fellow graduate student at the Centre, W.

Spencer Murch, provided technical support on the set-up of some of the study apparatus. A post-doctoral fellow at the Centre, Dr. Eve Limbrick-Oldfield, provided statistical support on the regression models in the statistical software package SAS. A research assistant, Angela Choi, helped with the data collection from January to June Luke Clark, for his insights, continuous support and guidance on this project.

I thank W. Spencer Murch for his technical support during the set-up of this study, Angela Choi for her help in data collection, and Dr. Eve Limbrick-Oldfield for her statistical expertise and support. I also thank Dr. Catharine Winstanley and Dr. David Klonsky for agreeing to be on my MA Committee. From to , Canadian revenues from casino gambling including casino-based EGMs as well as slot machines located outside casinos e.

From these figures, slot machines are estimated to contribute over half of the total gambling revenues in Canada BC Ministry of Health, Slot machines are also highly accessible: in British Columbia, there are 22, licensed slot machines Problem Gambling Institute of Ontario, , available not only in casinos, but also in other gambling venues like bingo halls.

Harms of Slot Machines Slot machine gambling is often described as an especially problematic and addictive form of gambling. A report from the Ontario Problem Gambling Hotline revealed that the vast majority of calls to the helpline were from gamblers concerned about their slot machine play; far more concerns were expressed about slots as compared to any other form of gambling activity.

Breen and Zimmerman measured retrospectively the time taken by these two groups to develop their gambling problems, defined as the interval between the age of regular gambling involvement and the age at which the DSM-IV criterion for pathological gambling were first met. EGM gamblers progressed from initiation to problem gambling in an average of 1.

MacLaren studied how the different forms of gambling contributed to problem gambling in Canada. His data showed that EGM players spent more money than players of other forms of gambling.

These data further highlighted the danger of prolonged game play on slot machines. Griffiths made a distinction between situational and structural characteristics of gambling activities. Situational characteristics refer to environmental elements external to the game itself, which get people to gamble in the first place. Some examples include the location, number and accessibility of gambling facilities, and casino advertising.

In contrast, structural characteristics are features that are inherent to the gambling game itself. Early generations of slot machines, popular throughout much of the twentieth century, contained three mechanical reels painted with the classic array of symbols, e.

These machines had a lever on the side that the player pulled to spin the reels. The mechanical structure of these early machines was relatively simple, involving only a few structural characteristics.

Since then, technological advancements have greatly enhanced the game features on modern slot machines, making the games more exciting and attractive to gamblers. Modern slot machines now consist of multiple animated reels with symbols and bonus games of a certain theme, accompanied by intense computerized sound and visual effects Dixon et al.

Structural characteristics may fuel gambling-related cognitive distortions. These distortions describe a variety of biases in the perceived likelihood of winning, which subsequently encouraged gamblers to continue their gambling habits Clark, Research in problem gambling treatments has shown efficacy in cognitive therapies that aimed at correcting these erroneous beliefs Ladouceur et al.

Typically, people develop an illusion of control when elements from games of skill e. For instance, participants who were allowed to choose their own lottery ticket would sell the ticket at a higher price, compared to those who were simply given the ticket, despite of the random nature of lottery outcomes.

In craps, players take turns to throw dice, trying to roll certain desirable numbers. At first glance, slot machines may appear to be more passive than these other forms of gambling, as players are merely sitting in front of the machine and pressing the same button or pulling the side lever repeatedly.

The more 5 actively involved a gambler is with a gambling game, the more likely they are to believe that they are exercising skill, and that their actions have an effect on gambling outcomes Griffiths, For example, most modern games allowed gamblers to customize their bet sizes by choosing both the number of paylines they want to bet on, and by varying the bet amount on each payline see Figure 1 for an illustration of paylines on a modern slot machine.

In some games, gamblers can bet on up to 20 paylines, as compared to the single horizontal payline in the classic machines. Many machines also have bonus rounds that resemble computer games.

These bonus games can require motor dexterity i. Figure 1. Screenshot of paylines of the modern slot machine used in this study. The Stopper Device The stopper button is another common device on modern slot machines, putatively linked to illusion of control. The stopper allows the gambler to brake the spinning reels manually.

This behaviour has no impact on the slot machine outcomes e. In a game of slots without using the stopper, the gambler presses the play button to make the reels spin, then waits for the reels to stop to reveal the outcomes. By choosing to use the stopper, the gambler can now 6 actively influence when the outcome appears, instead of being a passive agent who waits for the machine to reveal the outcome.

Players may further believe that pressing the stopper influences the final positions of the reels and therefore the type of outcomes received. In their Study 1, undergraduate participants played 30 spins on the game without using the stopper, and then played another 30 games where they were asked to use the stopper on every trial.

As in commercial slot machines, using the stopper did not influence the game outcomes. Participants who endorsed the idea that skill played a role in the slots game were more likely to believe that the stopper improved their chance of winning. Thus, these data suggest that using the stopper device fuelled the illusion of control, by enhancing the skill component to a game of chance.

The group who were instructed to use the stopper device played twice as many spins as the group who were 7 not able to use the device. This important study demonstrated the link between stopper usage and both the cognitions and behaviour i.

They employed a pre-programmed slot machine simulator and the participants were told when to use, and when not to use, the stopper. These conditions were not very realistic because in real casinos, slot machine outcomes are random, and gamblers are not told how they should play the game.

It is also unrealistic to think that gamblers who use the stopper will do so without fail, on every spin. Rather, in natural slots play, gamblers may use the stopper some of the time, exploring the impact that it has on the frequency of winning.

Gambling behaviours in university students tend to be quite different from community-recruited samples of gamblers. Therefore, there are reasons to believe that what was found in the student sample may not be generalizable to the community gamblers.

The study used two slot machine simulators: one with and one without a stopper device. Nastally and colleagues concluded that the win rate had a stronger effect that the stopper device in determining game preferences.

This salient difference in win rate may have obscured any influence of the stopper device. Speed of Play. Continuous forms of gambling, such as slot machines and roulette, involve a short interval between the gambler placing their bet and the outcome being revealed Dickerson, Following the outcome, it is immediately possible for the gambler to place another bet. These structural characteristics related to the timing of the game imbue continuous forms with a much higher speed of play, and this may be associated with the increased risk of problematic gambling that is often associated with continuous forms Griffiths, Modern EGMs are regarded as the form of continuous gambling that has the highest speed of play.

They found that gamblers in the high speed condition played 2. Loba et al. The combined effects of slowing the speed and turning off the sound lowered ratings of enjoyment, excitement and tension-reduction for problem gamblers. Stopper and Speed of Play. Besides any putative effect on the illusion of control, the use of the stopper device in the middle of a spin will inherently act to shorten the spin latency, and speed up the reveal of the spin outcomes. In this way, players can influence the timing of the game, and thereby regulate their speed of play.

Participants from the Loba et al. Most studies looking at speed of play in slot machines have used a simple measure, dividing the total duration of play time by the number of spins. However, this conflates two temporal components. First, the spin duration is directly and inherently reduced by using the stopper device; based purely on mathematics not psychology , the player can make more spins in a fixed period of play.

However, the player can also control the interval between the spin outcome being revealed, and the initiation of the next spin. Some studies have investigated how this latency changes as a function of the outcome on the previous spin, known as the post-reinforcement pause PRP.

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Re: gambling addiction hotline deceleration

Postby Mor В» 10.08.2019

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Accessed 23 June You only need to rinse your hands with water and please refrain hotljne using soap. I hypothesized that participants would use the stopper device more in the 5 trials following a successful stopper win compared to the 5 trials preceding the win, and also compared to the trials either side of a winning outcome that did click here involve the stopper device. GEQ — Flow .

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Re: gambling addiction hotline deceleration

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Arts, Faculty of. Griffiths made a distinction between situational and structural characteristics of gambling activities. Psychophysiological arousal signatures of near-misses in slot machine play. You may use this stop button feature at any time during the session and you can use it as many times as you want. Figure 9.

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Re: gambling addiction hotline deceleration

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