Learning Model of Addiction

  • Created by: mollyb
  • Created on: 14-06-13 17:37
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  • Learning Model
    • Classical Conditioning
      • learning through association . Addicts associate two things together, e.g. a good time in the pub with a good time drinking
      • Meyer et al
        • found that when addicts saw a hypodermic needle it created positive feelings about heroin. indicates addicts have developed a strong association
      • White and Hiroi
        • studied rats who had been given amphetamine injections in different locations. they showed strong links to any location in which they were given the drug in causing relapse.
    • Operant Conditioning
      • learning through reinforcement, the dopamine released when you take a drug or win at gambling is a reward and when a behaviour is rewarded it is more likely to repeat.
      • If alcohol reduces the amount of anxiety felt in a social situation then it is seen as a positive reward and and will reinforce drinking
      • particularly effective on a Variable Ratio (VR) schedule. in VR the reward haooens every now and then at random producing strong consistent  addictive behaviour
      • Claridge and Davis
        • found that dopamine reward pathways are activated at the mere sight of a line of cocaine. suggesting that addicts are reinforced not only by the sight but also by being offered it.
      • Sharpe
        • stated that VR schedule cannot explain gambling because loses outweigh gains. perhaps big wins in early gambling bias their view
      • Reddish
        • created a computer learning model based on biological dopamine pathways that would learn addiction. shows continuation of biological and cognitive approach
    • Social Learning Theory
      • learning through others, 'vicarious learning. It is thought that we learn addiction through observing others and will copy the behaviour if it is rewarded
      • The media is seen to have an affect on addiction as it displays role models doing risky behaviours and being rewarded for it such as Amy Winehouse
      • Bahr et al
        • found teenagers were more likely to take drugs if they witnessed peers taking drugs. SLT can be considered as an explanation for iniation


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