How Near-Miss Events in Slot Machines Reinforce Gambling Persistence

A slot is a narrow notch, groove, or opening, as in a keyway in a piece of machinery or a slit for coins in a vending machine. Also, a position in a group, series, sequence, etc.

For decades, it has been widely believed that near-miss events in slot machines reinforce continued gambling behavior. This belief has been based on the assumption that audio-visual stimuli correlated with winning on slot machines have conditionally reinforcing properties that lead to greater frequency of gambling responses.

However, this assumption is problematic for several reasons. First, there is little evidence that a near-miss effect exists. Although numerous experimental studies have attempted to demonstrate this effect, few have succeeded. Furthermore, most of the studies have examined measures other than gambling persistence (e.g., physiological reactions or response latencies).

One possible limitation of the present experiments is that the stimuli used are relatively simplistic compared to those on traditional slot machines, which incorporate many diverse shapes and patterns as well as random outcomes. This is by design, as a simpler stimulus should allow for a more straightforward evaluation of the putative effect.

Another limitation is that deploying to slots can cause keys to be reset for function apps with an AzureWebJobsSecretStorageType app setting equal to files. This might result in the loss of data stored in the portal, requiring that you resync your data or move to another deployment slot. Finally, certain app settings that apply to unscheduled deployments are not swapped with the app instance — for example, diagnostic settings like WEBSITE_HTTPLOGGING_RETENTION_DAYS and DIAGNOSTICS_AZUREBLOBRETENTION_DAYS.