Subliminal priming of winning images prompts increased betting in slot machine play

Bryan Gibson, Katherine Zielaskowski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

In 2 experiments (n=327), participants played a computerized slot machine game. Some participants had the jackpot symbols repeatedly flashed for 30 ms during preliminary play. Exposure to the subliminal jackpot prime led to more betting and confidence on a final spin. In Experiment 2, this effect only occurred for those who placed their bets immediately following exposure to the primes. Betting and confidence returned to baseline levels if participants were forced to wait for 5 minutes before betting. This finding supports a category priming explanation rather than a goal activation explanation for the effect. Results are discussed in the context of research on subliminal priming, and as an example of an application of subliminal priming effects to consumer psychology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106-115
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume43
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2013

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