The Simultaneous Observing of Concurrently Available Schedules Procedure as a means to study the Near Miss Event in Simulated Slot Machine Gambling
AdvisorGhezzi, Patrick M.
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The near miss event in slot machine gambling is seen when nearly all symbols required to win line up on a payline. Traditionally, the near miss has served a feedback function in games of skill. As a game of chance, however, near miss events in slot machines serve no such role, though the individual gambler may behave as though it does. Attempts to study the near miss have relied almost exclusively on resistance to extinction and preference research, both of which fail to adequately capture putative reinforcement properties of this event. The current investigation sought to introduce and test a new methodology for assessing reinforcement properties of stimuli, termed the simultaneous observing of concurrently available schedules. This procedure incorporates an observing response, the gold standard of reinforcement assessment, to concurrently available schedules. Tests of the methodology on win percentage and near miss densities provide evidence for its use as a tool for assessing putative reinforcers.