Interface predictability changes betting behavior in computerized gambling

Takumi Tanaka, Hideaki Kawabata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Recent development in human-computer interfaces (HCIs) including electronic gaming machines and online gambling has exposed novices to the risks of gambling-related harm. Interface characteristics not only reflect the structure of the game, they also shape users' sense of agency concerning their gambling. Although studies have indicated the importance of causal attribution in risky gambling, the roles of the sense of agency and its largest factor, predictability, remains unclear. Therefore, we assessed the impact of interface predictability on gambling tendencies. Participants played a computerized card-guessing game on two interfaces with distinct visual feedback predictability related to users' card choice operation (i.e., the consistency between the direction of mouse motion and cards). Between these interfaces, we compared participants’ subjective estimation of win probability and their wager history in each trial. Their subjective win probability did not differ between conditions. Intriguingly, participants only decreased their wagers following a loss when the interface was predictable, but not when it was unpredictable. Moreover, the effects of predictability of a “winning run” depended on individual difference in illusory control. This study provides evidence that feeling of agency mediates the impact of interface features on gambling. This may contribute to interface design for a healthy gambling experience.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106387
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Sept


  • Gambler's fallacy
  • Gambling
  • Human-computer interface
  • Illusion of control
  • Risk-taking
  • Sense of agency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Psychology(all)


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