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"I was that close": Investigating Players' Reactions to Losses, Wins, and Near-Misses on Scratch Cards.

Stange M, Graydon C, Dixon MJ - J Gambl Stud (2016)

Bottom Line: Each participant also rated each outcome in terms of its subjective level of arousal, valence, and frustration.Our results indicate that players interpreted near-misses as negatively valenced, highly arousing, frustrating losses, and were faster to move onto the next game following this type of outcome than following winning outcomes.Additionally, near-miss outcomes were associated with the largest amount of change in SCLs as the outcome was revealed.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, ON, N2L 3G1, Canada. mstange@uwaterloo.ca.

ABSTRACT
While scratch cards are a popular, accessible, and inexpensive form of gambling, very little is known about how they affect and influence the player. This study sought to understand the physiological and subjective experience of scratch card play, with special emphasis on the effect of near-miss outcomes (i.e. uncovering two out of three "grand prize" symbols needed to win said prize), which are remarkably prevalent in scratch card games. Thirty-eight undergraduate students from the University of Waterloo each played two custom scratch card games and experienced three types of outcomes (losses, wins and near-misses) while their skin conductance levels (SCLs) and post-reinforcement pauses were recorded. Each participant also rated each outcome in terms of its subjective level of arousal, valence, and frustration. Our results indicate that players interpreted near-misses as negatively valenced, highly arousing, frustrating losses, and were faster to move onto the next game following this type of outcome than following winning outcomes. Additionally, near-miss outcomes were associated with the largest amount of change in SCLs as the outcome was revealed. This work has implications for the problem gambling literature as it provides evidence of the frustration hypothesis of near-misses in scratch cards, and is the first study to examine the physiological and psychological experiences of scratch card players.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Pre-outcome skin conductance levels (SCLs) leading up to wins, losses, and near-misses, as a function of outcome. Error bars are ± 1 SE
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Fig5: Pre-outcome skin conductance levels (SCLs) leading up to wins, losses, and near-misses, as a function of outcome. Error bars are ± 1 SE

Mentions: Given that each participant experienced four losses (compared to one win and one near-miss), we averaged the SCLs for the four losses. Thus, the mean was used to represent any changes in SCLs as the symbols were uncovered during these outcomes. Shown in Fig. 5, near-misses were associated with the largest changes in SCL, followed by wins, then losses showing the smallest change. These differences were verified by a repeated measures analysis of variance conducted on average SCL change magnitudes (including change values of zero). This analysis revealed a significant main effect of outcome F(2, 66) = 4.92, p = .01. Fisher’s LSD post-hocs revealed that near-misses (M = 1.11, SD = .65) were associated with larger SCL increases than regular losses (M = .83, SD = .37), t(33) = 2.98, p = .005, and larger increases than small wins (M = .92, SD = .60), t(33) = 2.09, p = .045. Wins were not significantly different from losses t(33) = 1.02, p = .32.Fig. 5


"I was that close": Investigating Players' Reactions to Losses, Wins, and Near-Misses on Scratch Cards.

Stange M, Graydon C, Dixon MJ - J Gambl Stud (2016)

Pre-outcome skin conductance levels (SCLs) leading up to wins, losses, and near-misses, as a function of outcome. Error bars are ± 1 SE
© Copyright Policy - OpenAccess
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4764632&req=5

Fig5: Pre-outcome skin conductance levels (SCLs) leading up to wins, losses, and near-misses, as a function of outcome. Error bars are ± 1 SE
Mentions: Given that each participant experienced four losses (compared to one win and one near-miss), we averaged the SCLs for the four losses. Thus, the mean was used to represent any changes in SCLs as the symbols were uncovered during these outcomes. Shown in Fig. 5, near-misses were associated with the largest changes in SCL, followed by wins, then losses showing the smallest change. These differences were verified by a repeated measures analysis of variance conducted on average SCL change magnitudes (including change values of zero). This analysis revealed a significant main effect of outcome F(2, 66) = 4.92, p = .01. Fisher’s LSD post-hocs revealed that near-misses (M = 1.11, SD = .65) were associated with larger SCL increases than regular losses (M = .83, SD = .37), t(33) = 2.98, p = .005, and larger increases than small wins (M = .92, SD = .60), t(33) = 2.09, p = .045. Wins were not significantly different from losses t(33) = 1.02, p = .32.Fig. 5

Bottom Line: Each participant also rated each outcome in terms of its subjective level of arousal, valence, and frustration.Our results indicate that players interpreted near-misses as negatively valenced, highly arousing, frustrating losses, and were faster to move onto the next game following this type of outcome than following winning outcomes.Additionally, near-miss outcomes were associated with the largest amount of change in SCLs as the outcome was revealed.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, ON, N2L 3G1, Canada. mstange@uwaterloo.ca.

ABSTRACT
While scratch cards are a popular, accessible, and inexpensive form of gambling, very little is known about how they affect and influence the player. This study sought to understand the physiological and subjective experience of scratch card play, with special emphasis on the effect of near-miss outcomes (i.e. uncovering two out of three "grand prize" symbols needed to win said prize), which are remarkably prevalent in scratch card games. Thirty-eight undergraduate students from the University of Waterloo each played two custom scratch card games and experienced three types of outcomes (losses, wins and near-misses) while their skin conductance levels (SCLs) and post-reinforcement pauses were recorded. Each participant also rated each outcome in terms of its subjective level of arousal, valence, and frustration. Our results indicate that players interpreted near-misses as negatively valenced, highly arousing, frustrating losses, and were faster to move onto the next game following this type of outcome than following winning outcomes. Additionally, near-miss outcomes were associated with the largest amount of change in SCLs as the outcome was revealed. This work has implications for the problem gambling literature as it provides evidence of the frustration hypothesis of near-misses in scratch cards, and is the first study to examine the physiological and psychological experiences of scratch card players.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus