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What year was this study conducted?
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What are Heuristics and how do they link to gambling?
A set of rules for solving problems. Wagenaar suggested that gamblers select them at the wrong occasions.
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What are the 6 most important cognitive distortions?
1. Illusion of control 2. Flexible attributions 3. Representativeness 4. Availability bias 5.Illusory correlations 6. Fixation on absolute frequency.
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What is illusion of control?
The belief we can control random events
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What are flexible attributions?
wins=skill, losses=fluke
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What is representativeness?
belief random events have a pattern
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What is availability bias?
more like to remember wins than losses
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What are illusory correlations?
belief that two variables are related when they are not
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What is fixation on absolute frequency?
when gamblers measure their success using the absolute rather than the relative frequency of wins.
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To investigate cognitive bias involved in gambling behaviour.
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3 hypotheses?
1. There would be no difference between RG and NG on objective measures of skill. 2. RG would produce more irrational verbalisations than NG. 3.RG would be more skill-orientated than NG on subjective measures of self-report.
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60 participants - 30 RG (once a week), 30 NG (must had used fruit machine before). 44m, 16f. Mean age=23.4 years. All from Exeter in the UK. Self-selecting sample, posters around uni campuses. Some RG's recruited by gambler known by author.
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Design, method, data?
Field study, quasi experiment, independent measures design, both data types.
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IV & DV?
IV= RG or NG DV=objective measures of skill, content of utterances from thinking aloud method, subjective measures of skill perception.
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Procedure? (1)
Ps tested individually, asked to gamble on fruit machine called 'Fruit skill', 10p a go. Ps given £3, so had so 'free' gambles. Ps asked to try and stay on machine for minimum of 60 plays - meaning they had to break even and win back £3.
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Procedure? (2)
If they managed to achieve 60 gambles, could then choose if they wanted to keep any winnings or gamble more. P's objective skill measured by recording behaviour. Skill = ability to affect the outcome of the gambling positively, e.g. more wins/gambles
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Procedure? (3)
Experimenter recorded time spent on machine, total number of gambles, amount of winnings and result of every gamble.
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Procedure? (4)
Irrational verbalisations measured in 'thinking aloud'. RG & NG's randomly assigned to TA or NTA. TA condition=utterances recorded using microphone connected to tape recorder. All utterances transcribed, content analysis done and coding scheme made.
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Procedure? (5)
Post experimental semi-structured interview was carried out to measure subjective opinions of. A number of questions were asked, e.g. participants were asked "Is there any skill involved in playing on fruit machines?"
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What was the thinking aloud condition?
Consisted of Ps verbalising every thought that passes through their minds while playing. Had to: say everything in mind, try and talk continuously, speak clearly, dont hesitate to use fragmented sentences if necessary, don't justify their thoughts.
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What did the coding system created consist of?
30 irrational and rational utterances and a further miscellaneous category (total=31). Examples:Irrational = swearing at machine (You *******), personification of machine. Rational = swearing in general. Miscellaneous = what they will do afterwards.
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Outline the results
14% of RG utterances=irrational, compared to 2.5% of NG. RG mostly personified machine and referred to the 'number system'. No difference in objective measures of skill. In interview, RG more skill oriented than NG. RGs stayed on machine longer.
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Strengths of the study?
Both data types & lots of data collected. Think aloud method useful way of assessing private thoughts. High EV.
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Weaknesses of the study?
low inter-rater reliability. Issues with socially desirability with RG, lied about habits. Self-selecting sample may cause bias in results.
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Gambling not approved of so forcing people to do so may be frowned upon as they may become addicted.
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


What are Heuristics and how do they link to gambling?


A set of rules for solving problems. Wagenaar suggested that gamblers select them at the wrong occasions.

Card 3


What are the 6 most important cognitive distortions?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


What is illusion of control?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


What are flexible attributions?


Preview of the front of card 5
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