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Griffiths (1994)
The role of cognitive bias and skill in fruit machine gambling
To compare the behaviour of regular and non-regular fruit machine
1. Regular gamblers would produce more irrational verbalisations
2. No difference between PPTS objective measures of skill
3. Regular gamblers will be more skill orientated on subjective
measures of skill
4. Think aloud PPTS would take longer to complete the tasks
Mean age of 23.4
Divided into 2 groups
Regular gamblers 29m/1f played at least once a week
Non-regular gamblers 15m/15f played once a month or less
Recruited via
Volunteer sample
Given £3 to gamble on a fruit machine in an real arcade (enhance
ecological validity)
NO IV= could be a quasi-experiment
All ptts played the same game
Stay on machine for 60 gambles.
Break even
Allowed to keep or continue
Half ptts randomly assigned to thinking aloud condition
o Lapel microphone used to recorded them
o Spoke out their thoughts
o Instructed to talk continuously whilst gambling no filtering
The verbalisations were put into two categories
o Irrational
Personification of the fruit machine -` the machine likes
Explain losses- ` I lost there because I wasn't
o Rational
General swearing/ cursing ­ `damn'
Reference to winning- ` I won 40p I think'

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Griffiths (1994)
The role of cognitive bias and skill in fruit machine gambling
Playing rate
o Regular gamblers (8mins)
o Non-regular gamblers (6 mins)
No difference in objective measures
Thinking aloud condition
o Regular gamblers had lower win rate
o Regular gamblers = 14% irrational verbalisation
o Non-regular gamblers = 2.…read more


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