If you've ever seen the episode of Family Guy where Lois Griffin cannot stop playing the casino slot machines. While she's a fictional character, researchers from the University of Waterloo suggest the inability to quit slot games is based on real emotion, and they know why.
Apparently the music and sound effects of slot machines are designed to make the player think he/she is winning even when they're not. The "emotional arousal" created by the effects can cause players to overestimate the number of times they've won, and if playing multiple lines one could lose on most yet still hear the bells and whistles if they win just one. Test groups of gamblers playing silent slots had a better sense of how well (or not) they were doing.
While the researchers did not indicate if wearing earplugs would be a possible key to slot machine success, if I find myself in a casino in the near future I think I may give that a try.
(PHOTO: Getty Images http://www.gettyimages.com/)