Publication Details

Wilkes, B., Gonsalvez, C. J. & Blaszczynski, A. (2009). Psychophysiological responses to win and loss events during electronic gaming machine (EGM) play: A pilot investigation. Gambling Research, 21 (2), 22-34.


The pilot study used state-of-the art psychophysiological equipment to monitor, on a second-bysecond basis, skin conductance level (SCL) and heart rate (HR) of university students (n = 12) in response to win and loss events while playing an electronic gaming machine (EGM). Each win and loss event was recorded and physiological changes associated with these events sorted and averaged based on event type (win/loss) and time (pre and post events). Compared to pre-event baselines, both SCL and HR increased following the occurrence of a win but not to a loss event. SCL was the more sensitive of the two measures, yielding a robust and reliable response for wins but not for losses. These results have potentially valuable clinical implications and future research should attempt to capture and compare physiological changes to win and loss events in field settings in both problem and non-problem gamblers.