Call for Papers for the 36th Annual

Prairie Undergraduate Research Conference

UW Logo

Department of Psychology

University of Winnipeg

Conference Date:
Friday, April 21, 2017

The Prairie Undergraduate Research Conference provides undergraduate students of psychology an opportunity to present research conducted as part of their Honours thesis or independent-study projects in a friendly, professional environment.

We encourage all students hoping to gain valuable academic experience to present at this conference. In addition, we encourage those students who may be doing an Honours thesis in the near future to attend to learn about research, potential supervisors, and the overall thesis experience.

Submission Deadline:
Friday, April 14, 2017

Registration Fee: $20 for non-presenters
Please click here or follow the links in the menu to the left to register for the conference.

Wesley Hall

There is no registration cost if you are presenting a poster or giving a talk at the conference.

All others who will be attending the conference all day, including faculty, will be required to pay the registration fee. This fee will offset a portion of the cost of lunch, coffee breaks, and post-conference socializing at the faculty club.

Please pay onsite at registration.


Dr. Mike Dixon

Dr. Mike Dixon

Professor & Chair

Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo, Canada

LOCATION: Eckhardt-Gramatté Hall
TIME: 1:30-2:30p

ABSTRACT: When Players spin and lose their entire wager the machine goes into a state of quiet. When they spin and win more than their wager the machine celebrates this win with high fidelity sounds and eye-catching animations. When players spin and gain back LESS than their wager (e.g., bet $1.00 and get back 20 cents), despite this being a net loss to the player the machine nonetheless still celebrates this outcome with sights and sounds that are very similar to actual wins. We refer to these outcomes as “losses disguised as wins” (LDWs). I will show how players physiologically, behaviourally and psychologically respond to these LDWs as though they are actual wins instead of the losses that they truly are. I will present research on th importance of the reinforcing sounds used by slot machines in causing players to miscategorize these types of losses as wins. Finally I will show how slot games with LDWs contribute to some players entering what we call a “Dark flow” state where they are oblivious to all else but the game. I will summarize a number of different studies in which we show that those with more severe gambling problems seem preferentially vulnerable to entering this state. Our research explains why multiline slot machines may be the game of choice for those with gambling problems.