The Huron University College Journal of Learning and Motivation

Article Title

The Effect of Conditioned, Gambling-Induced, Superstitious Behaviour


Jake H. Kotzer


Using undergraduate students (N = 10) as subjects, the conditioning of superstitious behaviours, while playing a virtual slot machine game, on a computer, were observed. Each participant was given 30 spins on the slot machine game. The first 10 were control trials with no reward, then the participant's score was resent and the participant who got the highest score on the next 20 spins, experimental trials, was rewarded with $20. Objects were placed in front of the participant that could manipulate as they played the game. Any manipulation of any of these objects was for the purposes of this experiment, considered to be a 'superstitious behaviour. The results were analyzed to see if a significant difference existed in the number of exhibited superstitious behaviours during control trials and experimental trials, and if superstitious behaviours were conditioned during the trials.

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