Alcohol consumption and computer blackjack

Abstract

The authors considered compliance with a decision aid that E. Thorp (1966) designed to minimize loss in a gambling paradigm under different levels of risk or impairment. Twenty adult men (aged 18-46) completed the South Oaks Gambling Screen (SOGS; H.R. Lesieur & S. B. Blume, 1987) and the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT; J. P. Allen, D. F. Reinert, & R. J. Volk, 2001) and then played a computer blackjack program before and after ingesting alcohol. The decision aid (online Basic advice) increased players' compliance with optimal play and also increased players' willingness to wager more at high stakes. Participants attained a mean peak blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.048%. Alcohol increased the rate of play. After consuming alcohol, participants appeared to spend less time on their decisions and were more reliant on support. The authors explained these results in terms of an alcohol-induced myopia that enhances responses to salient cues.

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