Slot Machines Seduce their Victims, Then …

Slot MachinesThis article was first published in Psychology Today.

Slot machines are often displayed as bright, shiny objects. Similar to video games, they feature creative, trendy themes, bright colors, flashing lights, and a combination of sights and sounds designed to lure potential customers.

Appropriately, Mike J. Dixon et al. (2019), in conducting research into gambling as a form of escape, began by noting the allure of slot machine play as a form of entertainment. Unlike slower games such as lotteries, slot machine payoffs (when they occur) are immediate, often accompanied by attention-grabbing music and high tech animations. In addition, slot machines are by nature unpredictable—due to what the authors refer to as a “variable-ratio reinforcement schedule.”

They focused on players who entered the “slot machine zone,” a state of absorption during which the game dominates their awareness, causing time to pass by without notice, a state many players find extremely pleasurable. Unfortunately for some, however, despite the similarity to the concept of “flow” in positive psychology, slot machine-induced flow often leads to negative consequences — in terms of time management and monetary loss.

Depression and Dark Flow

Dixon et al. describe the phenomenon of …

Public in Japan Against Mindless Games of Chance

Slot MachinesJapan’s ruling bloc steamrolls controversial casino bill through upper house amid growing social concerns

Ditch attempts by opposition parties. The ruling coalition shut down by majority the attempts by the opposition camp, including the main opposition Democratic Party, Japanese Communist Party, Liberal Party and Social Democratic Party, to stall the bill, agreeing to submit a no-confidence motion against Abe’s cabinet in the lower house earlier in the day. Were the… [Read more…]