No crocodile tears as researchers win Harvard award
AN Aussie research project which measured whether holding a croc is more likely to entice punters to bet big has taken out an infamous Ig Nobel prize for absurd scientific achievement.
Central Queensland University professors Matthew Rockloff and Nancy Greer were named Ig Nobel Laureates at Harvard University on Thursday.
Their research assessed whether visitors to a Queensland crocodile farm made riskier bets on a simulated pokies game immediately after nursing a 1m saltie.
“Our prior research ident- ified four psychological factors that put people at increased risk problem gambling: excitement, esteem, excess and escape,” Prof Rockloff said.
“We needed a sneaky way to generate some ‘excitement’ prior to participants playing pokies, to see if this would lead to riskier gambling.”
Prof Rockloff’s wife Susan, who is from Alice Springs, suggested crocodiles as an easily accessible way to generate some excitement among punters. The study suggested excitement associated with gambling can cause people with pre-existing problems to gamble more intensively.