PSYA4- Learning models

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  • learning (behavioural) models of addictive beheviours
    • classical conditioning
      • an unconditioned stimulus produces an unconditioned response. if the US is frequently associated with a conditioned stimulus then it produces the same conditioned response
        • however this is reductionist to assume a cause and effect
    • views addiction as any other behaviour/ can be unlearned/ degrees of addiction
    • operant conditioning
      • behaviours are likely to be repeated if they are rewarded in some way
        • positive reinforcement - the reward is a desirable consequence e.g. feeling relaxed
        • negative reinforcement - the reward is the removal of an unpleasant consequence
        • rewards vary from substance to individual and some rewards be more significant in certain contexts e.g. depression or with friends; drug use becomes the discriminative stimulus
        • e.g.when depressed peter takes drugs and finds the temporary euphoria a rewarding experience, so he repeats when he feels depressed, depression is the discriminative stimulus for drug use
    • Social learning theory
      • we do not need to directly suffer the consequences of an action, we can learn by observing others e.g. if we observe significant people drinking or smoking it appears rewarding
      • cognitive labelling model
        • an emotional experience is the relationship between physiological arousal and its cognitive interpretation
          • e.g. smelling alcohol leads to increased heart rate, the cognitive label is having fun
      • outcome expectancy model
        • a person with addictive behaviour has certain expectations when confronted with cues in the environment for the addictive substance
          • e.g. seeing people drinking at a party and having fun makes you realise how much you enjoy drinking
  • the unconditionditioned stimulus can be internal or external
    • an unconditioned stimulus produces an unconditioned response. if the US is frequently associated with a conditioned stimulus then it produces the same conditioned response
      • however this is reductionist to assume a cause and effect
  • however this is reductionist- people are exposed to the same substances but some addict and some don't so there must be a genetic cause making them more susceptible to these substances

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