Publications by authors named "Tyler B Kruger"

5 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Contrasting Mind-Wandering, (Dark) Flow, and Affect During Multiline and Single-Line Slot Machine Play.

J Gambl Stud 2021 May 6. Epub 2021 May 6.

Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, ON, N2L 3G1, Canada.

Slot machines are a very popular form of gambling in which a small proportion of gamblers experience gambling-related problems. These players refer to a trance-like state that researchers have labelled 'dark flow'-a pleasurable, but maladaptive state where players become completely occupied by the game. We assessed 110 gamblers for mindfulness (using the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale), gambling problems (using the Problem Gambling Severity Index), depressive symptoms (using the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale), and boredom proneness (using the Boredom Proneness Scale). Participants played both a multiline and single-line slot machine simulator and were occasionally interrupted with thought probes to assess whether they were thinking about the game or something else. After playing each game, we retrospectively assessed dark flow and affect during play. Our key results were that the number of "on-game" reports during the multiline game were significantly higher than the single-line game, and that we found significantly greater flow during the multiline game than the single-line game. We also found significantly lower negative affect during the multiline game than the single-line game. Using hierarchical multiple regression, we found that dark flow accounted for unique variance when predicting problem gambling severity (over and above depression, mindfulness, and boredom proneness). These assessments help bolster our previous assertions about escape gambling-if some players are prone to having their mind-wander to negative places, the frequent but unpredictable reinforcement of multiline slot machines may help rein in the wandering mind and prevent minds from unintentionally wandering to negative thoughts.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10899-021-10027-0DOI Listing
May 2021

Using deliberate mind-wandering to escape negative mood states: Implications for gambling to escape.

J Behav Addict 2020 Oct 2;9(3):723-733. Epub 2020 Oct 2.

1Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo, 200 University Avenue West, Waterloo, ON, N2L 3G1, Canada.

Background And Aims: Slot machines are a pervasive form of gambling in North America. Some gamblers describe entering "the slot machine zone"-a complete immersion into slots play to the exclusion of all else.

Methods: We assessed 111 gamblers for mindfulness (using the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale (MAAS)), gambling problems (using the Problem Gambling Severity Index (PGSI)), depressive symptoms (using the Depression, Anxiety, and Stress Scale), and boredom proneness (using the Boredom Proneness Scale). In a counterbalanced order, participants played a slot machine simulator and completed an auditory vigilance task. During each task, participants were interrupted with thought probes to assess whether they were: on-task, spontaneously mind-wandering, or deliberately mind-wandering. After completing each task, we retrospectively assessed flow and affect. Compared to the more exciting slots play, we propose that gamblers may use deliberate mind-wandering as a maladaptive means to regulate affect during a repetitive vigilance task.

Results: Our key results were that gamblers reported greater negative affect following the vigilance task (when compared to slots) and greater positive affect following slots play (when compared to the vigilance task). We also found that those who scored higher in problem gambling were more likely to use deliberate mind-wandering as a means to cope with negative affect during the vigilance task. Using hierarchical multiple regression, we found that the number of "deliberately mind-wandering" responses accounted for unique variance when predicting problem gambling severity (over and above depression, mindfulness, and boredom proneness).

Conclusions: These assessments highlight a potential coping mechanism used by problem gamblers in order to deal with negative affect.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1556/2006.2020.00067DOI Listing
October 2020

Do losses disguised as wins create a "sweet spot" for win overestimates in multiline slots play?

Addict Behav 2021 01 3;112:106598. Epub 2020 Aug 3.

Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo, ON, Canada; Gambling Research Lab, University of Waterloo, ON, Canada.

Multiline slots are popular electronic gaming machines. Research suggests that particular outcomes on these games, namely losses disguised as a wins or LDWs, may make these games particularly alluring to gamblers. LDWs occur when one wins less than they wager, but the machine celebrates these net losses with flashing lines and winning sounds (e.g., bet a dollar, win back a dime). Players are known to somatically, psychologically, and behaviourlly miscategorize LDWs as wins rather than losses. Furthermore, LDWs lead players to overestimate how many times they thought they won during a playing session - leading to what is known as the LDW-triggered win-overestimation effect. In this paper, we analyzed experienced players' win-overestimates from 13 studies after playing slots with different LDW percentages. The combined data showed an inverted U-shaped function for win-overestimates. There appears to be a "sweet spot" for the LDW-triggered win-overestimation effect; wherein, a moderate number of LDWs maximizes this effect, but a high number of LDWs decreases the effect. In Study 2, we confirmed with 132 experienced gamblers that there appears to be maximal win overestimates at around 19.6% LDWs. We conjecture that a high number of LDWs may lead players to see a disconnection between the running total on the machine going down and the number of "wins", leading to more accurate win estimates. This inverted "U" effect for win-overestimates parallels previous research showing that gamblers continue to play for longer during a losing streak following a playing session with a moderate (versus low or high) number of LDWs. LDW-triggered win-overestimates may contribute to the allure of multiline slots -games that cause significant problems for a subset of gamblers.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.addbeh.2020.106598DOI Listing
January 2021

Reward reactivity and dark flow in slot-machine gambling: "Light" and "dark" routes to enjoyment.

J Behav Addict 2019 Sep 28;8(3):489-498. Epub 2019 Aug 28.

Department of Psychology,University of Winnipeg, Winnipeg, MB,Canada.

Background And Aims: Slot machines are a very popular form of gambling. In this study, we look at two different routes to enjoying slots play. One route involves the degree to which players react to rewards. The other route involves what we call dark flow - a pleasurable, but maladaptive state where players become completely engrossed in slots play, providing an escape from the depressing thoughts that characterize their everyday lives.

Methods: One hundred and twenty-nine high-frequency slots players were tested on slot-machine simulators set up in the lobby of a casino. We measured reward reactivity using post-reinforcement pauses (PRPs) and the force with which players pressed the spin button following different slot-machine outcomes. For each player, we calculated the slopes of PRPs and force as a function of credit gains. We also assessed players' slots game enjoyment and their experience of dark flow, depression, and problem gambling.

Results: Both the PRP and the force measures of reward reactivity were significantly correlated with players' enjoyment of the slots session, but neither measure was correlated with either problem gambling or depression. Ratings of dark flow were strongly correlated with slots enjoyment (which accounted for far more positive affect variance than the reward reactivity measures) and were correlated with both problem gambling scores and depression.

Discussion And Conclusions: Our results suggest that of these two routes to enjoying slot-machine play, the dark flow route is especially problematic. We contend that the dark flow state may be enjoyable because it provides escape from the negative thoughts linked to depression.
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1556/2006.8.2019.38DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7044632PMC
September 2019

Mindfulness problems and depression symptoms in everyday life predict dark flow during slots play: Implications for gambling as a form of escape.

Psychol Addict Behav 2019 Feb 7;33(1):81-90. Epub 2019 Jan 7.

Department of Psychology.

Slot machine players refer to a state of absorption that researchers have labeled dark flow. Players become completely occupied by the game and forget everything else (leading to "dark" consequences such as spending more money than intended). We propose that players who experience dark flow have difficulty staying on task in everyday life, but, the reinforcing sights and sounds of slot machines rein in these otherwise wandering minds and induce these flow-like states. We assessed 129 gamblers for mindfulness problems (using the Mindful Attention Awareness Scale), gambling problems (using the Problem Gambling Severity Index), and depressive symptoms (using the Depression Anxiety and Stress Scale). Participants played a slot machine simulator and were periodically interrupted with thought probes to assess whether they were thinking about the game or about something else. After playing, we retrospectively assessed dark flow and positive affect during play. Our key results were that mindfulness problems outside of the gambling context were positively correlated with depression, problem gambling status, and most importantly, dark flow within the gambling context. Dark flow was positively correlated with positive affect during play and the combination of dark flow and depression predicted gambling problems. The picture that emerges is that individuals with mindfulness problems in everyday life find their attention locked in by slot machines inducing dark flow, which in turn leads to a state of positive affect. For depressed players especially, this state may be enjoyable because it provides an escape from the negative mentation linked to depression that characterizes the everyday lives of these troubled players. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved).
View Article and Find Full Text PDF

Download full-text PDF

Source
http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/adb0000435DOI Listing
February 2019