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The Near Miss in Simulated Slot Machine Play: The Role of Conditioned Reinforcement
AuthorSchienle, Robert Michael
AdvisorGhezzi, Patrick M.
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The near miss effect in slot machine gambling is generally understood as two out of three winning reel symbols aligning horizontally at the payline, with the third winning symbol appearing just above or below the payline. Previous slot machine research suggests the presentation of a near miss increases the duration spent gambling (Côté, Caron, Aubery, Desrochers, & Ladouceur, 2003; Ghezzi, Wilson, & Porter, 2006). The current study aims to extend what is known about the reinforcing properties of the near miss by using an observing response procedure, whereby the participant must make a response to reveal the outcome of a reel spin. Results indicate participants were more likely to make an observing response on near miss outcomes than on winning or full miss outcomes. Therefore, results of this study suggest the presentation of a near miss does, in fact, function as a conditioned reinforcer in slot machine gambling.