a01/a02 summary table for addictive behaviour explanations of gambling and smoking

Here are 3 summarised tables of everything you need to know for the explanations of addictive behaviour for the learning, biological and cognitive theories when explaining smoking and gambling

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THE ROLE OF GENETICS ­ BLACK ET AL found that the first degree relatives of pathological gamblers ROLE OF GENETICS ­ LERMAN ET AL found that people without the reward gene, appear to
were more likely to suffer from pathological gambling than more distant relatives, demonstrating a have fewer dopamine receptors in the pleasure centre of the brain and as a result are more
strong genetic link. ZUCKERMAN proposed that the personality characteristics of sensation seeking, likely to become addicts. Dopamine is a received a lot of attention from addiction researchers
which is the tendency to look for opportunities that raise arousal, a gambler is seen as somebody who as it regulates your mood and emotions. Nicotine has been found to increase dopamine release
needs intense stimulation and excitement. SLUTSKE found that 64% of this behaviour could be accounted within the brain system providing a positive feeling. Therefore individuals without this
for by genetic factors alone which suggest that environmental factors are less significant than biological reward gene are more likely to become addicted to drugs as this compensated for their
in the initiation of gambling. deficiency by stimulating what few dopamine receptors they do possess.
PHYSICAL DEPENDENCY THEORY- The physical dependency theory suggests that people maintain an NICOTINE REGULATION MODEL - The reason for maintaining an addictive behaviour is
addiction because doing without the activity is so unpleasant. For example a bet can be followed by a chemical addiction. This model suggests that the reason people maintain this behaviour is
period of anticipation where the body reacts by having a fast heart rate and an increase of adrenaline because the chemicals change how the brain functions and how much dopamine is released.
secretion. In order to keep these physical responses to a level which satisfies the gambler, they have to Because the chemical reaction of dopamine being released is short lived pleasure, the
engage more in a risky behaviour to maintain the positive feeling that it gives. MAYER ET AL compared a smokers start to experience withdrawal symptoms as the nicotine levels drop. As a person
group of problem gamblers when gambling for real and fake money. They found that during the gambling continues to smoke they may become tolerant of the nicotine and may need to engage in the
condition, problem gamblers had an increase in cortisol secretion and an increased heart rate. The EEG activity more and more to maintain the positive feeling it gives. Addiction to nicotine is
scans shown similarity to drug addiction. maintained because it is only with the drug that they feel normal.
PHYSICAL WITHDRAWEL - WRAY AND DICKERSON suggested that gamblers who are prevented from PHYSICAL WITHDRAWAL- There is clear evidence that the nicotine within tobacco is an
gambling often report changes that represent withdrawal symptoms because their bodies are craving extremely addictive drug, producing significant changes in how the brain functions, such as
the highly addictive adrenaline rush which they get from gambling. Over 60% of the pathological increasing dopamine levels. Stopping long term use of nicotine at high tolerance levels can
gamblers reported physical side effects similar to those associated with drug withdrawal symptoms result in the unpleasant side effects.
such as an increased heart rate, sweating and raised blood pressure. Therefore many gamblers relapse
because the easiest way to stop the withdrawal symptoms is to re- engage in the addictive behaviour.
INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES ­ Genetics can explain why some people develop pathological gambling yet SUPPORTING EVIDENCE FOR GENETIC INFLUENCE ­ VOLKOW ET AL who gave Ritalin which
others who have the same experiences and life pressures do not. Some people are more vulnerable to gently lifts dopamine levels, to a group of adults. Some of them loved the feeling of the drug
develop an addiction or are more resistant to treatment because of their genetic predisposition. but others hated the way it made them feel. The researchers then did scans of their brains and
found that those who liked the rush had fewer dopamine receptors than the others. This
IGNORES ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS ­ Explaining pathological gambling in terms of biological factors would explain why some people, after experimenting with drugs go on and develop and
alone ignores the importance of external factors, (e.g. peer pressure), in the development of gambling maintain an addiction while others given the same initial experience would not.
behaviour. It is more likely that addictive gambling is a product of biological factors, which may
predispose some people to excessive gambling, plus external factors, together with the interaction LIMITATIONS OF BIOLOGICAL EXPLANATIONS ­ A problem for this explanation is that it
AO2 between them. neglects other possible determining factors, including social context of smoking behaviour.
However, by regarding smoking addiction as a biological problem, this creates the possibility
LIMITATIONS OF BIOLOGICAL APPROACH ­ Biological explanations can't explain why some types of that it may be treated by various pharmacological methods.( patches)
gambling are more addictive than others. SHARPE proposed a biopsysocial approach which incorporates
an interaction of factors. She believes we should take a more eclectic approach. GENETIC APPROACH HAS IMPLICATIONS FOR TREATMENT ­ Individuals found to have a
higher genetic risk of smoking addiction could then be advised to change their behaviour (e.g.
RESEARCH EVIDENCE FOR SENSATION SEEKING ­ . ZUCKERMAN proposed that the personality stop smoking) or seek medical treatment to reduce their chances of developing
characteristics of sensation seeking, which is the tendency to look for opportunities that raise arousal, a smoking-related diseases.
gambler is seen as somebody who needs intense stimulation and excitement
REDUCTIONIST - The biological method is reductionist as it reduces the complex phenomenon
REDUCTIONIST ­ Because they reduce a complex phenomenon, such as gambling, down to relatively a of nicotine addiction down to the simple explanation and chemical dependency. A smoking
simple level of explanation, i.e. an imbalance of brain chemicals or the influence of specific genes. There

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are potential advantages to this approach (e.g. it allows researchers to study the family history of addiction cannot be biological alone as one of the main struggles faced by addicts is breaking
addiction or offers possibilities for effective treatment). However, this approach also has its limitations as the learned habit.
it ignores all other potential influences (e.g. irrational thought processes, social context etc.) Need to
take more of an eclectic approach and consider other explanations.…read more

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IGNORES INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES ­ Many people have gambled in their life and have played on a slot LIMITED EXPLANATION ­ Alternatively the biological model offers a better explanation for smoking,.
machine or bet on a horse in the grand national. However, we don't all become addicted to this behaviour The physical dependency theory suggests that the nicotine within tobacco is an extremely addictive
or take it to excess.…read more

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PRATICAL APPLICATIONS ­ The success of the learning model in explaining smoking can be seen by
RELIABILITY OF DIAGNOSIS ­ It is difficult to research gambling addiction as it is hard to categorise when the the number of treatment programmes which have been introduced. These include aversion therapy
behaviour becomes an addiction and when it is classes as a leisure activity. In moderation it is socially accepted. and in vivo desensitisation.…read more

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