Gamblers interpret near-misses as frustrating losses rather than near-wins, and that frustration stimulates the reward systems in the brain to promote continued gambling, which may contribute to addictive gambling behavior. 

Analyses to date have shown that near-misses support persistent gambling and activate brain areas that reinforce certain behaviors. If near-misses are seen as near-wins, then they should be pleasurable. If, however, near-misses are highly frustrating losses, then they should be unpleasant. Dixon and team set out to shed light on this debate.
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