Slot Machines: The Big Gamble

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It's tough to think of anyone who values psychological findings more than the casino industry. A salient example of this is the extensive integration of a variable ratio (VR) schedule of reinforcement in casino games.


In a 60 minuets report, Lesley Stahl, asserts that casinos are doing everything in their power to keep customers at the slots for longer periods of time. Not only are they leveraging the most potent schedule of reinforcement, a VR, but they are now introducing "modern slots", a new machine that has some important changes from their older counterpart. A few highlighted changes are the replacement of buttons for levers (allow a person to place bets faster than ever!). They also incorporate music, video, sound into the slots while allowing you to play hundreds of lines at once. Lesley Stahl believes that this flow of stimuli can easily overwhelm and trick someone into feeling like they are winning when the reality couldn't be any further from the truth.

So, are these casinos taking advantage of people by cleverly integrating psychological findings into their gambling floors, or are they merely providing a service that many people enjoy?

For more information, check out this 12 minute youtube clip that summarizes the original report:

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YES! And we are considering turning the metrodome into the next Casino of America.

Governor Dayton justifies this by saying that most people will howl and scream and vote you out of office at the prospect of increasing taxes by a dollar, but will gladly hand over hundreds of dollars to a casino and be willing to come back the next day to do it again!

Should we give the people what they want?

Perhaps, if it will pay for a new Vikings stadium.

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This page contains a single entry by PETE! published on October 23, 2011 11:50 AM.

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