Catalyst - Gambling
Gambling is exciting, seductive - and in Australia, very much part of life... eighty percent of us gamble in some form. But why is gambling so attractive? And why's it so attractive to some, they become horribly addicted?
According to Dr Matthew Rockloff, one of the reasons the pokies are so attractive is because they have that sense of immediate pay off. You can make multiple bets, multiple gambles, and then have the immediate sense of whether you've won or lost on those bets.
Poker machines were first in Australia in 1956. Some of the earliest science explaining the addictiveness of poker machines was done by one of the fathers of behaviourism psychology, BF Skinner. He famously claimed any animals, including humans, could be trained using conditioning.
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