SAGE Journal Articles

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Article 1: Rachlin, H. (1990). Why do people gamble and keep gambling despite heavy losses? Psychological Science, 1(5), 294–297. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.1990.tb00220.x

Summary/Abstract: If a long series of gambles is subjectively structured into units each consisting of a string of consecutive losses followed by a win, positive-valued strings will be short and negative-valued strings will be long. Long negative strings will be temporally discounted more than short positive strings, increasing the gamble’s subjective value. People, therefore, may gamble because even games of objectively negative-expected value may be subjectively positive. People may keep gambling despite heavy losses because reduction of degree of discounting and expansion of the behavioral unit, characteristics of self-control in other areas, fail to significantly decrease a gamble’s subjective value.

Questions to Consider

1. What is expected value and how is it related to this article?

2. Prospect theory conceptualizes the fundamental unit of a analysis as a:

  1. binomial distribution
  2. normal distribution
  3. negatively skewed distribution
  4. positively skewed distribution

3. Rachlin’s view differs from prospect theory by assuming:

  1. positively skewed distributions
  2. the expected value of outcomes
  3. delay to an outcome is not important
  4. series of choices with a fixed outcome

Article 2: Lacy, S., Robinson, K., & Riffe, D. (1995). Sample size in content analysis of weekly newspapers. Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly, 72(2), 336–345. doi:10.1177/107769909507200207.

Summary/Abstract: Weeklies, although increasing in circulation, have rarely been studied as a source of information. These authors review the research on sampling for daily newspapers and explore various sampling techniques for weekly newspapers.

Questions to Consider

1. According to the authors, when does simple random sampling work and when does it not?

2. How did the variability (standard deviations) vary between the two newspapers?

  1. Newspaper #1 had twice the variability of newspaper #2.
  2. Newspaper #1 had four times the variability of newspaper #2.
  3. Newspaper #2 had twice the variability of newspaper #1.
  4. They were the same.

3. The distribution of sample means and the central limit theorem were used to determine:

  1. standard deviations
  2. outliers
  3. the normal curve
  4. skewness