Studies over the past two decades have provided important information on the interrelations between Electronic Gaming Machines (EGM) game design elements and the individual physiological responses and in terms of neural activations as well as autonomic responses to specific outcomes. The present study aimed at expanding such research stream by delving into the reinforcer role of cognitive and affective reactions through the integration of physiological and behavioural measures in a faithfully-reproduced online EGM gambling setting. Research investigated physiological and behavioural patterns in terms of autonomic arousal, attention and engagement in conjunction with specific game events such as wins, losses, losses disguised as wins (LDW), and bonus game activations. The study involved 60 holders of active online gambling accounts recruited on the basis of their gambling frequency. Three online five-reels multi-line slot machine games were chosen as experimental stimulus and participants underwent a single gambling session playing with own money. During the game session electroencephalogram (EEG), a single ECG lead and eye-tracking signal were acquired. Muscular and ocular artefacts were identified and removed from the EEG signal through independent component analysis and the resultant signal was processed to compute attention, pleasantness and engagement indices. Heart rate variability signal was extracted from ECG and mean heart rate was computed for each spin. Eye tracking signal was processed to detect the percentage of fixations on game features and machine display locations as an indicator of visual attention. Furthermore, the pupil size was adopted as a measure of affective processing. Overall, 16462 single spins were gathered from the 60 subjects. Results showed that bonus games elicit significant activation at the arousal level, significantly greater than any other event and independently of subject typology or wallet. Secondly, LDWs were shown to elicit comparable responses to wins and bonuses. Eye tracking analysis showed the slot-reels dominated the visual attention of the player and that wallet and clock areas were the least sought. Potential applications might leverage on such physiological responses to prevent possible unhealthy gambling behaviours. In particular, we encourage the exploration of in-game pop-up message usage to nudge online responsible gambling behaviours.

Would you bet on your physiological response? An analysis of the physiological and behavioral characteristics of online electronic gaming machines players

Marco Mandolfo;Debora Bettiga;Riccardo Lolatto;Pierluigi Reali
2019

Abstract

Studies over the past two decades have provided important information on the interrelations between Electronic Gaming Machines (EGM) game design elements and the individual physiological responses and in terms of neural activations as well as autonomic responses to specific outcomes. The present study aimed at expanding such research stream by delving into the reinforcer role of cognitive and affective reactions through the integration of physiological and behavioural measures in a faithfully-reproduced online EGM gambling setting. Research investigated physiological and behavioural patterns in terms of autonomic arousal, attention and engagement in conjunction with specific game events such as wins, losses, losses disguised as wins (LDW), and bonus game activations. The study involved 60 holders of active online gambling accounts recruited on the basis of their gambling frequency. Three online five-reels multi-line slot machine games were chosen as experimental stimulus and participants underwent a single gambling session playing with own money. During the game session electroencephalogram (EEG), a single ECG lead and eye-tracking signal were acquired. Muscular and ocular artefacts were identified and removed from the EEG signal through independent component analysis and the resultant signal was processed to compute attention, pleasantness and engagement indices. Heart rate variability signal was extracted from ECG and mean heart rate was computed for each spin. Eye tracking signal was processed to detect the percentage of fixations on game features and machine display locations as an indicator of visual attention. Furthermore, the pupil size was adopted as a measure of affective processing. Overall, 16462 single spins were gathered from the 60 subjects. Results showed that bonus games elicit significant activation at the arousal level, significantly greater than any other event and independently of subject typology or wallet. Secondly, LDWs were shown to elicit comparable responses to wins and bonuses. Eye tracking analysis showed the slot-reels dominated the visual attention of the player and that wallet and clock areas were the least sought. Potential applications might leverage on such physiological responses to prevent possible unhealthy gambling behaviours. In particular, we encourage the exploration of in-game pop-up message usage to nudge online responsible gambling behaviours.
Would you bet on your physiological response? An analysis of the physiological and behavioural characteristics of online electronic gaming machine players
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11311/1117328
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