The Psychological and Behavioral Impacts of Casino Design

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1 The Psychological and Behavioral Impacts of Casino Design Karen Finlay-Gough University of Guelph 2014 Massachusetts Conference on Gambling Problems

2 Research Program Effects of structural and design elements of casinos on emotion induced in an environment and subsequently on behavior Design Emotion Behavior

3 Research Program * 12 years * Lab experiments - video scenarios - Panoscope 360º - slot lab * In-casino field studies

4 Research Program Examined: Structural differences of casinos Design features Music, odor Restorative images Perceived duration of play Slot machine characteristics Match between emotional predisposition and environment BUT

5 Research Program Extension to less conscious measures of environmental effects

6 Research program Department of Marketing and Consumer Studies

7 Methodology

8 Panamorphic Lens Used to Take Footage in Casinos Methodology

9 Methodology

10 Methodology

11 Design Dichotomy Macro Casino Design Playground (Kranes, 2000) Feeling of home; comfort; pleasant; crossing a threshold Design is entertaining and immediately legible Open space; high ceilings Natural elements: vegetation, water (Kaplan & Kaplan, 1989; Heft & Nasar, 2000) Fantasy; playground; entertaining design Gaming (Friedman, 2001) No landing Low ceilings; nothing to draw eye above level of play Initial view is machines; design is machines Mazes create private space and encourage continuous play

12 Macro Designs Playground

13 Macro Designs Gaming

14 Research program Three important dimensions of player welfare: At-risk Gambling Intentions (Finlay et al, ) Restoration (Korpela & Hartig 1996, McKechnie 1977) Dissociation from Reality (Jacob s 1986)

15 At-risk gambling intentions 5-item scale Scale: 1 7, where 1 = don t agree at all, 4 = partially agree, and 7 = strongly agree I would gamble/play more money than I intended in this place. I could get drawn into slot machines or other types of games I didn t intend to after playing in this place. I would have an uncontrollable urge to play/bet a lot of money in this place. I would have trouble quitting without placing one more bet in this place. I would probably bet/play more than I wanted to in this place.

16 Restoration (26-item scale) Being here is an escape experience. Spending time here gives me a break from my day-today routine. It s a place to get away from it all. Being here helps me to relax my focus on getting things done. Coming here helps me to get relief form unwanted demands on my attention. This place has fascinating qualities. My attention is drawn to many interesting things. I want to get to know this place better. There is much to explore and discover here. I want to spend more time looking at the surroundings. This place is boring.

17 Dissociation (7-item scale) I lost track of time. I felt like a different person. I felt like I was in a dream. I felt like I was watching myself gamble. I experience memory blackout. I felt like I was in a trance. I felt like I had taken another identity.

18 Research program Neither casino design is perfect: - playground is more restorative - gaming engenders more anxiety and dissociation

19 Previous Lab Research Casino design that induces restoration also linked to higher at-risk gambling intentions; particularly the case for problem gamblers Some variables increase gambling intentions across the board (information-laden factors) Some variables can decrease gambling intention (e.g., restorative images for gaming design, particularly for high risk gamblers

20 Previous Lab Research Goal becomes identifying design elements that: Playground Maintain levels of restoration Reduce at-risk gambling intentions Gaming Increase restoration Maintain or lower levels of at-risk gambling intentions

21 Current Research Examine influence of casino design on emotional responses and behavior: Playground vs. Gaming macro casino designs Specific design elements: presence of restorative images, landing strip type Enhance reality of testing situation

22 Methodology N=448 recruited via database, posters, newspaper ads Random assignment to one of 2x3x3 conditions: Macro design of casino (playground, gaming) Landing strip (none, anxiety, pleasure) Restorative images (none, negative, positive)

23 Restorative Images Involuntarily attended to Pleasant; simple to comprehend Restore cognitive resources; pull individuals out of trance; render cognitions available for sounder decision making

24 Restorative Image

25 Non-restorative Image

26 Landing Strip Inducing Anxiety

27 Landing Strip Inducing Pleasure

28 Methodology Completed outcome measures Sample: NP 20%; Low risk 30%; Moderate risk 35%; Problem 15% Male 41%; Female 56% 50% 45 years; 50% > 45 years

29 Results At-risk Intentions Effect of restorative images is moderated by macro design of casino Interaction of Macro Design and Restorative Image on ARGI 3.46 Playground Gaming Restorative image

30 Results Restoration Interactive effect of macro design and restorative images is moderated by type of landing strip

31 No landing strip - +ve restorative images increase restoration Playground Gaming Type of restorative image

32 Landing strip Inducing Anxiety - higher restoration (contrast) - doesn t mix well with restorative images Playground Gaming Type of restorative image 3.83

33 Landing strip Inducing Pleasure - modestly higher restoration - doesn t mix well with restorative images Playground Gaming Type of restorative image

34 ARGI - reduced with +ve or ve restorative images for playground design Restoration Discussion - increased with +ve restorative images for both playground and gaming designs - increased with pleasure-inducing landing strip (and to some extent with anxiety inducing landing strip) for both playground and gaming designs

35 Discussion Dissociation - Lowered with use of restorative images for gaming design (unless preceded by an anxiety-inducing landing strip)

36 Implications Different effects depending on macro design Introduce positive restorative images Consider use of landing strips, particularly ones inducing pleasure Avoid combination of landing strips and restorative images

37 Implications

38 Implications

39 Paradigm Nudge?? Conscious effects of environment traditionally examined using stimulus-organism-response framework (S-O-R, Mehrabian & Russell, 1974) 12 years of research on gambling environments have demonstrated robust effects casino settings on conscious measures of emotion and behavior Yet, anecdotally, gamblers (particularly problem gamblers) deny environmental effects would gamble the same way, no matter where they were Need to look at implicit measures of environmental effects

40 Implicit Effects of Environments Turiel (2010) reinforces that unconscious processes permeate human functioning Lynch & Rivkin (1970) argued the process of perception is so rapid and complex, often so difficult to be verbalized; the findings must be regarded only as the perceptions which were at the top of the heap in the whole conscious-unconscious sensing of the environment Many decisions appear unconscious and automatic, outside of explicit awareness

41 Paradigm Nudge?? Unconscious Implicit Conscious Explicit 1) stu _ 2) slogan generation test

42 Current Field Research A field study of a casino environment introduces extended modes of investigation using measures that tap unconscious processing and influences on behavior in a gambling context Use of projective research technique (cognitive mapping cue) to understand motivations within casino that are otherwise not able to be articulated

43 Paradigm Nudge?? New Implicit Measures Field Study Lab Study Unconscious Conscious

44 Objectives To begin to understand moment-to-moment effects of casino design on emotion and gambling behavior in the field To explore in-depth rationale for machine choice and effects of environment on the casino floor To explore these differences at low and high levels of propensity to gamble beyond planned levels

45 Methodology Recruited from gambler database Met at Grand River Raceway and Casino, Elora ON Completed arrival survey Gambled in casino (average was 37 minutes) Intercepted at 10 minute intervals mini questionnaire Completed exit survey Exit interview Paid $30

46

47

48 Methodology Measures Casino familiarity Attitude toward casino Emotion (happy*, excited*) Intention to gamble beyond planned levels* Restoration* Dissociation* (Jacob Durand) Tracked movement in casino* Traced skin conductance during casino visit* Demographics

49 Skin conductance Two types Tonic - the smooth underlying slowly-changing levels Phasic - the rapidly changing

50 Q-Sensor

51 Phasic Tonic

52

53 Skin Conductance preliminary results Overall tonic levels higher for gamblers with high propensity to gamble beyond planned levels Peaks more dramatic for gamblers with low propensity to gamble beyond planned levels

54 Results Emotion (Happy) Overall High Propensity Low Propensity Happy Arrival Happy 1 st Intervention Happy 2 nd Intervention Happy Exit F-test F(35) = 6.09, p <.002 F(18) = 4.52, p <.02 F(17) = 2.77, p <.07

55 Results Emotion (Excited) Overall High Propensity Low Propensity Excited Arrival Excited 1 st Intervention Excited 2 nd Intervention Excited Exit F-test F(35) = 6.69, p <.001 F(15) = 10.01, p <.02 F(19) = 5.91 p <.01 same result as with happiness; high propensity start out higher but end up at the same lower place as the low propensity group

56 Results At-Risk Gambling Intentions Overall High Propensity Low Propensity ARGI Arrival ARGI 1 st Intervention ARGI 2 nd Intervention ARGI Exit F-test F(37) = , p <.00 F(17) = 23.4 p < F(19) = 49.27, p <.00

57 Results Restoration Overall High Propensity Low Propensity REST Arrival REST 1 st Intervention REST 2 nd Intervention REST Exit F-test F(37) = , p <.00 F(17) = 23.4 p <.00 F(19) = , p <.00

58 Results Dissociation Overall High Propensity Low Propensity DISS Arrival DISS 1 st Intervention DISS 2 nd Intervention DISS Exit F-test F(37) = 92.58, p <.00 F(17) = p <.00 F(19) = 64.16, p <.00

59 First Machine Picked by machine value (1, 2, 5 ) Picked by machine familiarity/winning history/comfort Picked machine that has bonuses Like animation on machine if you win Machine looked cute Near entrance Not near scent machine Just random Machine is visually stimulating More colorful

60 Why moved? Not winning/no luck To cheaper machine Boring Minimum bet too high Didn t like machine Never tried this machine before Change of scenery Prefer videos/cartoons Went for smoke

61 Environment comments Nothing/nothing on walls (37) Like atmosphere /different scenery Claustrophobia Dark, crowded and noisy Casino too small; can t get machines Paint (color) Like to play with people around Ching-ching Greek theme (1) Don t like ceilings No excitement Murals, riverboat, New Orleans, dancing girls, old pub, mid-century, gambling atmosphere, roaring 30 s (7)

62 Conclusions/ Implications Power of machines Need to pursue implicit measures of casino environments

63

64

65 Conclusions/ Implications Impact of casino environments is powerful on emotions induced and gambling behavior Power of machine cues Need to pursue implicit measures of casino environments Need for increased access to casinos for research

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