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The Biological Approach to Gambling
Initiation: Role of genetics
SHAH ET AL
Twin study
Evidence of genetic transmission of gambling in
men
BLACK ET AL
1ST degree relatives of pathological gamblers
more likely to also be pathological gamblers than
more distant relatives…read more

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Maintenance: Underactive pituitary-adrenal
response to gambling stimuli
PARIS ET AL
Measured gamblers' cortisol levels (cortisol
associated with pituitary-adrenal response)
before and after watching video of preferred
mode of gambling
Recreational gamblers high levels whereas
pathological gamblers no cortisol increase in
response to videos…read more

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ZUCKERMAN
Individual differences in stimulation
High sensation seekers have lower
appreciation of risk and anticipate arousal as
more positive than low sensation seekers
Therefore more likely to gamble…read more

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Relapse:
BLASZCYNSKI ET AL
Poor tolerance to boredom may contribute to
repetitive gambling behaviour
Pathological gamblers significantly high
boredom prone scores than control groups of
non gamblers…read more

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Evaluation of Biological Approach to Gambling
Explains individual differences
- Why some people develop pathological gambling and yet others
who experience same environment do not
- Diathesis-stress model also states how some may be more
vulnerable to addiction due to a genetic predisposition
Reductionist
- Ignores importance of external factors in development of
behaviour eg. Incentives (nature side of nature/nurture debate)
- Reduces complex phenomenon down to simple explanation
Deterministic
- Suggests individuals bound by their biology/genetics and have no
choice or free will in their actions…read more

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