Spencer Murch

Spencer is a PhD student in UBC Psychology’s cognitive science program. He graduated from UBC with an MA in psychology in 2016.

Spencer’s research focuses on the experience of immersion during slot machine gambling. The phenomenon, often compared to the related concepts of flow and dissociation, is typically reported as a feeling of being “in the zone” while gambling and is a consistent predictor of problem gambling risk. The goal of his studies, broadly speaking, is to identify meaningful predictors of immersion and problem gambling risk using cognitive tasks and advanced psychophysiological methods.

Ultimately, Spencer hopes to reduce the incidence of gambling disorder associated with modern slot machine use.


Recent Publications

Murch, W. S., Chu S. W. M. & Clark, L. (2017). Measuring the slot machine zone with attentional dual tasks and respiratory sinus arrhythmia. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, 31(3):375-384. doi: 10.1037/adb0000251

Murch W. S. & Clark L., (2016). Games in the brain: Neural substrates of gambling addiction. The Neuroscientist. 22(5), 534-545. doi: 10.1177/1073858415591474