Essay, 3 pages (650 words)


Gambling Overview of Sports Betting Gambling is increasingly becoming a common phenomenon in our social world today. There are therefore different forms and kinds of gambling. Sport betting is one of the commonest forms of gambling among young people, especially sports fanatics. Because there are many different kinds of sports activities, there are equally many different kinds of sports betting gambles. The commonest forms of sports betting include Baseball, NBA, NFK, Soccer and horserace. Sports betting also come in different forms including online betting and on the sport betting. Most sports betting require gamblers to predict events and scores of the sporting activities. For example someone may bet on the first team to commit a fowl, concede a goal or win the match. Betting is done by paying money and people whose predictions come true are rewarded with prizes, which are mostly money. Those whose predictions fail loss their betting fee and this is where the gambling aspect comes in.
Gambling from a learning perspective
Gambling and for that matter sports betting can be taken from a learning perspective. As far as learning perspectives are concerned, previous researchers have done a lot of work on the social learning perspective of gambling. Ormrod (1999) notes that social learning theory “ considers that people learn from one another, including such concepts as observational learning, imitation, and modeling.” With reference to social learning perspective, the behavior of gamblers whereby they base their predictions on observations of the performance of teams can be described as an act of learning. There is a second component of learning perspective where gamblers make predictions based on trial and error. Referring to social learning theories under which trial and error fall, Northwestern psychologist Donald Campbell refers to these as acquired behavioral dispositions (McGraw-Hill Online, 2011). The hopes of sports gamblers who use trail and error have been that as they keep trying predictions based on no authentic reasons, their predictions would along the way come true.
Framework of schedules of reinforcement in sports betting
Schedules of reinforcement are especially important in the learning process when dealing with operant conditioning (Cherry, 2011). With reference to gambling, fixed-interval schedule and fixed-ratio schedule are very paramount. With fixed-ratio schedule, there is the production of a high, steady rate of responding with only a brief pause after the delivery of the reinforcer (Cherry, 2011). In sports betting gamblers behave this way when the winning prizes are very lucrative and enticing. Fixed-interval schedule also occurs when there is much slower responding immediately after the delivery of the reinforcer (Cherry, 2011). This category of sports gamblers are those who would be lured by previous wins to continue to gamble more.
Gambling in the context of classical conditioning
Basically, classical conditioning is learning by association. For this reason Changing Minds Organization (2011) explain that “ If a stimulus that results in an emotional response is repeated alongside another stimulus which does not cause an emotional response, eventually the second stimulus will result in the same emotional response.” Stimulus and response are therefore very influential in gambling especially as Skinner B. F. relates the learning experience in gambling to classical conditioning. With stimuli and response, gamblers begin their conditioning with the unconditional stimuli – unconditional response (UCS, UCR) level before they graduate to conditional stimuli – conditional response level. This is because initial stages of developing gabling habits are usually associated with strong unconditional influence by the money involved but with time, gamblers gain the habit of gambling even when they keep losing (in the absence of stimuli) and thus conditionally.
Changing Minds Organization (2011). Classical Conditioning. Retrieved September 22, 2011 from http://changingminds. org/explanations/theories/classical_conditioning. htm
Cherry K., (2011). Schedules of Reinforcement. Retrieved September 22, 2011 from http://psychology. about. com/od/behavioralpsychology/a/schedules. htm
McGraw-Hill Online (2011). SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY of Albert Bandura, retrieved September 22, 2011 from http://www. mhhe. com/socscience/comm/bandur-s. mhtml
Ormrod, J. E. (1999). Human learning (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall. Available on line from http://teachnet. edb. utexas. edu/~Lynda_abbot/Social. html

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