A Behavior analytic perspective on gambling behavior


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Høgskolen i Oslo og Akershus

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Master i læring i komplekse systemer


Gambling is a complex human behavior where it origin and maintenance factors can be considered from many different theoretical perspectives. Behavior analysis has a pragmatic and contextual perspective on human behavior and sought to explain based on environmental variables. Hence, Article 1 will account for gambling behavior based on established behavioral principles as for example, reinforcement schedules, near-miss effect, verbal behavior, established operations, delayed discounting and contextual cues. Because gambling can lead to devastating consequences gambling both financially and socially, behavioral approaches to gambling treatment will also be discussed. Following, Article 2 contains an empirical study with 30 participants randomly assigned to three groups. The experiment was a replication of earlier studies on contextual cues affect on gambling behavior. The participants were presented with a conditional discrimination procedure where colors and values were established. Earlier studies like Zlomke and Dixon (2006), Hoon, Dymond, Jackson and Dixon (2008) and Revheim (2011) Experiment 2 concluded that gambling behavior was affected by contextual cues. They also implied that the conditional discrimination procedure can manipulate contextual cues and alternate the response allocation during posttests. However, these results have been difficult to replicate. The results in the presented studies imply that the responding during posttests were affected by the reinforcement schedules arranged in the groups and not by the conditional discrimination procedure. Keywords: gambling behavior, contextual cues, reinforcment schedules, verbal behavior, near-miss effect, conditional discrimination procedure, gambling treatments,delayed discouting


Permanent URL (for citation purposes)

  • http://hdl.handle.net/10642/2172