Master's Theses

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Date of Award

Summer 1971

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Psychology

Advisor

Robert Adams

Abstract

A naturalistic study was made of the risk-taking behavior of 120 subjects on a TV quiz program. Final wagers in a series showed a significant positive correlation between amount of capital and amount wagered. Significant negative correlations were found between capital and proportion wagered, and capital and degree of riskiness. On regular trials in the series preceding the final wager, capital and both amount wagered and degree of riskiness were positively correlated. A 2-loss sequence preceding the final wager was followed by a greater proportion of capital wagered than was a 2-win sequence. Analysis of the complete series of win-loss consequences and final wagers showed a negative linear relationship, with high-ratio losers betting a greater proportion of capital than high-ratio winners. On regular trials, there was a significant relationship between the previous consequence and betting decisions, with winners tending to increase and losers to decrease their next wagers. Subjects who did not participate on a round increased their next wagers more than winners or losers. Results were compared with those of previous laboratory experiments on effects of capital and reinforcement on gambling decisions. An attempt was made to interpret the findings with a behavioral analysis approach.

Rights

Copyright 1971 Analee Robinson

Comments

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