The effect of probabilistic monetary incentive magnitude on psychophysiological measures on a computerized simulated-slot machine
The purpose of the present study was to examine the potential physiological arousal that occurs when recreational gamblers play a simulated slot machine for various amounts of money. Twenty college undergraduates that reported occasional slot machine playing functioned as participants in the current study. Two groups of ten participants were utilized with each group exposed to one of two monetary contingencies (minimal and large). Electroencephalography (EEG), respiration rate, and galvanic skin response measures were taken during an adaptation phase followed by a reversal design incorporating monetary contingencies present and absent and followed by a final phase incorporating extinction. Results demonstrated no significant differences of monetary incentive magnitude across all psychophysiological measures, alternative behavioral measures (e.g., inter-response times, subjective probabilities), and resistance to extinction. A significant difference of trial outcome (following losses and following wins) was found in respect to inter-response time in that inter-response times were significantly greater following winning trials (i.e., spins) than losing trials. Despite the lack of significant differences, the results are discussed in terms of their benefit to the research literature, academicians conducting gambling research, and finally their relevance to real vs. hypothetical rewards.
0989: Physiological psychology