A2 AQA PSYCHOLOGY A - ADDICTION

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PSYCHOLOGY A2 ­ UNIT 4 ­ ADDICITON
BIOLOGICA
L GAMBLING SMOKING
APPROACH
INITIATION INITIATION
THE ROLE OF GENETICS ­ Studies have shown that pathological gambling runs in families. A twin study by ROLE OF GENETICS ­ Family and twin studies estimate the heritability of tobacco smoking to
SHAH ET AL found evidence of genetic transmission of gambling in men. BLACK ET AL ­ found that first be between 39% and 80%. VINK ET AL (2005) ­ studied 1572 Dutch twin pairs. They found
degree relatives of pathological gamblers were more likely to suffer from pathological gambling than that for both males and females Individual differences in smoking initiation were due to 44%
more distant relatives, demonstrating a genetic link. genetic and 56% environmental influences. BROADMAN ET AL ­ a US study of 348 identical
twin pairs and 321 same-sex fraternal twin pairs estimate the heritability for regular smoking
MAINTENANCE to be 42%
THE PITUITARY-ADRENAL RESPONSE ­ Pathological gambling is associated with an underactive PAR to gambling
AO1 stimuli. PARIS ET AL (2010) measured cortisol before and after watching video of preferred mode of gambling MAINTENANCE
(e.g. slot machine, lottery ticket) and video of neutral stimuli. Recreational gamblers had increased cortisol levels THE EFFECTS OF NICOTINE ­ VINK ET AL also reported that nicotine dependence was influenced
after both videos whereas pathological gamblers had no response to either video. primarily by genetics (75%) factors. Nicotine activates nAchRs receptors in brain, which leads to
SENSATION SEEKING ­ ZUCKERMAN 1979 claimed that there are individual differences in optimal amounts of release of dopamine. This creates short-term feelings of pleasure. This must be repeated to avoid
stimulation. Sensation seekers look for varied or novel experiences. High sensation-seekers have a lower withdrawal symptoms, so the individual smokes again, and the cycle repeats.
appreciation of a risk and anticipate arousal as more positive than do low sensation seekers, and therefore are PRE-NATAL EXPOSURE TO NICOTINE ­ BUKA ET AL - Mothers who smoke heavily during pregnancy
more likely to gamble. doubled the risk of their child becoming addicted to tobacco if they did begin smoking
RELAPSE RELAPSE
Pathological gamblers need intense stimulation and excitement. BLASZCZYNSKI ET AL (1990) found poor Twin studies suggest that the ability to quit smoking is also subject to genetic influences. XIAN
tolerance for boredom may contribute to repetitive gambling. Pathological gamblers had higher ET AL carried out a twin study to find out whether genetic risk factors contributed to failed
boredom proneness scores than control group. Found no significant difference between different types attempts to quit smoking. They found 54% of the risk for quit failure could be attributed to
of gambling. heritability. Research has also attempted to identify the specific gene clusters associated
with quit success and with nicotine dependence, with the aims of matching specific
antismoking treatments with the smokers most likely to benefit from them.
INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES ­ Genetics can explain why some people develop pathological gambling yet SUPPORTING EVIDENCE FOR GENETIC INFLUENCE ­ This comes from a Icelandic study by
others who have the same experiences and life pressures do not. Some people are more vulnerable to THORGEIRSSON ET AL. They identified a specific gene variant on chromosome 15 that
develop an addiction or are more resistant to treatment because of their genetic predisposition. influenced the number of cigarettes smoked per day, nicotine dependence and the risk of
developing smoking-related diseases. This suggests that genetic factors may not determine
IGNORES ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS ­ Explaining pathological gambling in terms of biological factors smoking initiation, but make it more likely that some smokers will become dependent on
alone ignores the importance of external factors, (e.g. peer pressure), in the development of gambling nicotine once they do start smoking
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
gambling are more addictive than others. BREEN AND SIMMERMAN found that it took about 1 year before
people were at risk of becoming addicted to online or video gambling but about 3 years before people
GENETIC APPROACH HAS IMPLICATIONS FOR TREATMENT ­ Individuals found to have a
were at risk of developing compulsive gambling addiction to horse racing. higher genetic risk of smoking addiction could then be advised to change their behaviour (e.g.
stop smoking) or seek medical treatment to reduce their chances of developing
RESEARCH EVIDENCE FOR SENSATION SEEKING ­ BONNAIRE ET AL found that pathological gamblers who smoking-related diseases. However, GARTNER ET AL suggest that, at present, screening for
bet at racetracks had significantly higher scores on sensation-seeking than whose who played games genetic susceptibility to smoking is unlikely to be successful, give the relatively small
available in cafes. The researchers concluded that there are two clinically distinct subgroups of reported associations between specific genes and smoking addiction.
gamblers. One (racetrack gamblers) gamble for the arousal produced by the game. The other
(cafe-gamblers) gamble to avoid boredom. EFFECTIVENESS OF MEDICATION
Smokers with Asp40 variant of the mu-opioid gene are twice as likely to quit smoking with
higher-dose nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) than they are with lower-dose NRT. Smokers

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PSYCHOLOGY A2 ­ UNIT 4 ­ ADDICITON
REDUCTIONIST ­ Because they reduce a complex phenomenon, such as gambling, down to relatively a with the more common Asn40 variant are equally likely to stop smoking regardless of NRT
simple level of explanation, i.e. an imbalance of brain chemicals or the influence of specific genes. There level. Genetic testing might allow therapists to choose the most appropriate cessation therapy
are potential advantages to this approach (e.g.…read more

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PSYCHOLOGY A2 ­ UNIT 4 ­ ADDICITON
IMPLICATIONS FOR TREATMENT - The evidence that there is more than one motivation for becoming a
pathological gambler implies that there should be differing approaches to helping in their treatment, EXPECTANCY THEORY & PUBLICATION BIAS - The focus on research into expectancy theory and
depending on their motivation for gambling. For e.g.…read more

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PSYCHOLOGY A2 ­ UNIT 4 ­ ADDICITON
gambling associated difficulties of any pathological gamblers and are motivated to seek treatment this led to a greater urge to smoke than when presented with a cue associated with smoking
AO2 (BLASZCZYNSKI AND NOWER)
Emotionally vulnerable gamblers have accompanying anxiety and/or depression and a history of poor coping
unavailability.
skills.…read more

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PSYCHOLOGY A2 ­ UNIT 4 ­ ADDICITON
addiction but smoking doesn't have the There is also support for the claim that use can be considered to be an
desired effect in reducing stress. perceived rewards such as social status and addiction-like behaviour. He issued PERSONALITY AS A CAUSE ­ research has found that personality
Part of the reason may be because the popularity are instrumental in why questionnaires to over 400 college causes addiction.…read more

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Comments

Joey Yau

This is great thanks!

aneesah

great! thanks

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