Addiction

  • Created by: Kayliss71
  • Created on: 23-05-18 21:24
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  • Addiction
    • Describing addiciton
      • Tolerance - when we have to have more of the substance to get the original affect
      • Withdrawal symptoms - uncomfortable feelings that arise when our body hasn't had the substance/ thing were addicted to
      • Psychological dependence- more of a mental state e.g you believe that you need it
      • Physical dependence - where your body becomes dependent
    • Risk factors in developing addictions
      • Stress
        • People may take on addictive behaviours to relieve stress
        • Alcohol is a depressant so will relax the individual relieving stress - positive reinforcement
      • Peers
        • Research has shown that although isolation is negative for adolescents it can protect them from the influence of their peers in relation to addiction
        • We may develop an addiction due to the desire to fit in with our social group e.g social smoking
      • Family
        • Baer et al found that adolescents were more likely to use alcohol if they had experienced family conflict suggesting they turned to alcohol as a way of avoiding negative things
          • Negative reinforcement
      • Personality
        • Eysenck and Eysenck outlined 3 main personality traits : P - psychoticism, E - extroversion, N - neuroticism
        • They suggested that certain personality traits make people more vulnerable to addiction
        • However its a teleological argument as addiction may cause certain personality traits or vice versa
      • Genetic predipositon
        • Sayette and Hufford concluded that identical twins show a higher concordance rate for alcoholism than non identical twins
        • Goodwin et al found that adopted males whose biological parents had an alcohol addiction were 4x more likely to develop the addiction than those whose parents didn't have an addiciton
    • Biological explanation for nicotine addiciton
      • Nicotine stimulates the release of dopamine increasing the level of dopamine in the brain and stimulating dopamine receptors on neurons providing feelings of pleasure and relaxation
      • Once the dopamine has been removed from the synapses the feeling disappears, in order to regain it the person wants to take more of the substance
      • If nicotine is taken regularly the body expects it and reduces the amount of dopamine released naturally
      • In order to maintain normal dopamine levels nicotine needs to be taken regularly - reinforces smoking behaviour
      • Olds and Milner conducted a study into dopamine levels in rats where to experience dopamine release they had to press a lever, they found that dopamine release is addictive
    • Learning theory as applied to smoking behaviour
      • New behaviour can be learned through observation or modelling
      • Through operant conditioning smoking behaviour may be positively reinforced e.g being accepted as part of a social group. Withdrawal symptoms then act as negative reinforcement, person smokes to relieve the withdrawal symptoms
      • Often smoking becomes associated with other activities or objects, which makes it difficult not to smoke in certain environments - cue reactivity
      • Cue reactivity can be explained by classical conditioning - learning by assosciation
    • Behavioural explanation for gambling addictions
      • Classical conditioning explains gambling addiction in terms of the person becoming conditioned to the excitement and arousal they feel when they gamble
        • UCS = gambling win UCR = excitement and increased heart rate
          • Behavioural explanation for gambling addictions
            • Classical conditioning explains gambling addiction in terms of the person becoming conditioned to the excitement and arousal they feel when they gamble
              • UCS = gambling win UCR = excitement and increased heart rate
              • Gambling can also be explained through operant conditioning, but people are only partially reinforced
                • Can occur due to variable reinforcement - wins don't follow a pattern so the pattern of reward and reinforcement is irregular
              • Skinner believed that a person must experience a big win before they develop an addiciton
              • Social learning theory could also explain the development of an addiction as people may be encouraged through vicarious reinforcement
        • Gambling can also be explained through operant conditioning, but people are only partially reinforced
          • Can occur due to variable reinforcement - wins don't follow a pattern so the pattern of reward and reinforcement is irregular
        • Skinner believed that a person must experience a big win before they develop an addiciton
        • Social learning theory could also explain the development of an addiction as people may be encouraged through vicarious reinforcement
      • Cognitive explanation for gambling addicitons
        • Gambling addictions can be explained by cognitive biases which are mental errors or distortions of thinking
        • Cognitive biases can be like optical illusions, even though you're aware of the mistaken thinking it still feels right
        • Cognitive biases often appear in gambling e.g people often believe that the probability of a future event is dependent on past events
      • Drug therapy
        • Agonists can be used which trigger a response by binding to receptors on cells
        • Some agonists can replace and replicate the effect of some drugs but have less harmful side effects
        • Antagonists are also used which reduce the effects of addictive drugs by blocking receptors
      • Aversion therapy and covert sensitisation
        • Aversion therapy aims to break addictions by forming negative associations with them
        • Covert sensitisation is where the person forms negative associations using their imaginations rather than actually experiencing the consequence
      • Cognitive behavioural therapy
        • Aims to change the way an addict behaves by changing their thought processes
        • Successful in many cases however requires motivation
      • Theory of planned behaviour
        • Proposed by Ajzen and Fishbein
        • It states that an individuals behaviour can be predicted by their intention to perform it
        • 1) persons attitude to the behaviour 2) subjective norms 3) a persons perceived behavioural control
        • Suggests behaviour is influenced in two ways ; indirectly- if a person believes the behaviour is too difficult they don't form the initial intention to carry it out
          • Directly- if the perception of their own level of control is accurate
      • Prochaskas 6 stage model
        • 1) Pre- contemplation. person isn't ready to change
        • 2) Contemplation - person is starting to consider that they have a problem
        • 3) Preparation - person begins to put goals in place and make commitments
        • 4) Action - person is actively working towards changing their behaviour
        • 5) Maintenance- person is focused on sticking to lifestyle changes, they receive support to prevent rellapse
        • 6) Relapse - where the person goes back to the addictive behaviour after successfully being free of it for a while

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