When you fire up a slots game are you playing Lady Luck, a set of algorithms or the house? You’d be forgiven for thinking that these questions are completely irrelevant to slots games – where no human dealer takes part in the action and you’re simply pressing a button – but are they?
A new study has found that gamblers who perceive human-like qualities in slot machines tend to gamble – and lose – more money.
A study entitled Humanizing Machines: Anthropomorphization of Slot Machines Increases Gambling, published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology put forward and tested the hypothesis that people gamble more on slot machines when they believe they’re playing against humanlike minds rather than mechanical algorithms.
The researchers carried out four tests, wherein participants were asked to play a simple slots interface with only the options to spin again or stop playing. The control group was told in advance that the machine operated via a mathematical algorithm programmed to deliver a certain percentage of wins and losses over time.
A second group of test subjects were told that the machine had a human-like brain and therefore had the power to decide whether or not a particular spin would come up a winner.
Those in the group that viewed the machine as human-like elected to play longer than the control group, and also lost more money. The researchers concluded that actual humans were likely to lose more money playing slots with human-like qualities, so it might be an idea to steer clear of any temptresses such as Miss Midas in future!