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Title: Emergent slot machine gambling : a relational frame theory approach
Author: Hoon, Alice Elizabeth
Awarding Body: Swansea University
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2012
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It has been suggested that gambling behaviour may not be solely controlled by schedules of reinforcement, but may be under the control of verbal behaviour. Relational frame theory is a contemporary account of verbal behaviour which may be able to account for aspects of gambling behaviour that cannot be explained by a pure schedule of reinforcement account. Chapter 2 demonstrated that contextual cues may influence preferences for concurrently available slot-machines, thus overriding the contingencies of reinforcement in place. Chapter 3 demonstrated that the presence of accurate or inaccurate rules may influence slot-machine choice and affect gambling persistence. Participants that received inaccurate rules regarding the payout probability of a slot machine, gambled for longer than those given accurate rules. Chapter 4 reported that the discriminative functions of slot-machines could be transformed in accordance with derived same and opposite relations, such that participants showed preferences for slot-machines that had never been experienced before. Chapter 5 demonstrated that not only could preferences for concurrently available slot machines be transformed in accordance with derived comparative relations, but found that preferences for slot machines increased relative to the relational network that had been trained. In Chapter 6, ratings of wins, near-misses and losses on a computer simulated slot-machine could be altered in accordance with derived same and opposite relations, and could even override the non-arbitrary properties of a slot-machine. It was concluded that gambling is verbal behaviour and can be accounted for by derived relations and the transformation of function. These findings may explain instances of gambling behaviour which cannot be accounted for by the direct acting contingencies.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Gambling--Social aspects ; Slot machines