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Psychology ­ Addiction, Research Methods & Schizophrenia

Module 1 ­ Addiction
1) BIOLOGICAL EXPLANATIONS ­ SMOKING

This approach suggests that we become addicted to something because doing
without the stimulus is very unpleasant. Tolerance is an important concept in
biological explanations of addiction. The more we use a substance or…

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MAINTENANCE

According to the biological model, the reason for continued smoking is chemical
addiction to the highly addictive substance, nicotine. There is clear evidence that
nicotine is highly addictive and produces changes in how the brain works.

(+) Schachter (1977) found that smokers who smoked low-nicotine cigarettes
smoked 25% more…

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INITIATION

This is closely linked to the physical experience caused by gambling, explained in
terms of a positive reward theory. Gambling floods the body with adrenaline, which is
thought to be highly addictive due to the "rush" it provides.

(-) Bergh et al. (1997) claims that there is a link…

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3) COGNITIVE EXPLANATIONS ­ SMOKING

The cognitive model places emphasis on interpretation of events and habitual ways
of thinking to explain the development of addictive behaviour.

Beck (2001) developed the "vicious circle" to explain addiction from his cognitive
triad:


Coping by Using




Low Mood

Financial, social and
medical problems




Coping…

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INITIATION

When someone begins smoking, it can be described in terms of expectancy.
Smokers expect that nicotine will initiate social interactions or reduce stress due to
faulty beliefs. In terms of coping, performance enhancement may explain why people
start smoking. The self-efficacy belief that smokers can stop smoking at any…

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MAINTENANCE

Beck's Cognitive Triad ­ through gambling, which initially provides reward through
good feeling, many people get into financial trouble, which leads to a low mood,
leading them to gamble again.

Coping ­ addicts may begin gambling to get a good feeling, encouraging them to
interpret their behaviour in a…

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RELAPSE

The withdrawal symptoms of gambling are not too serious, so the gambler returns to
the possibility of winning money. Gamblers feel they can stop at any time, so a
relapse is not perceived as much of a problem.

5) LEARNING EXPLANATIONS ­ SMOKING

INITIATION

Behaviour may begin because smoking…

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6) LEARNING EXPLANATIONS ­ GAMBLING

INITIATION

According to the behaviourist model, gambling behaviour is initiated as the addict
sees others winning on slot machines or the lottery. Their expectations of the win
may drive them to place their first bet, being playing the lottery. Once they have
started, the excitement…

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(+) Monique Helfer claimed that 17% of women over 75 used painkillers and sleeping
tablets every day, and in men over 75, 46% drank daily.
(-) doctors are more likely to prescribe females medication

PEERS

Eiser et al. (1991) found that smokers tend to befriend smokers and non-smokers
tend to…

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PERSONALITY

Hans Eysenck (1997) propsed a psychological resource model, i.e. the individual
develops an addictive habit because it fulfils a certain purpose related to the
personality type of the individual:

Psychoticism: aggressive, cold, impulsive and egocentric characteristics

Neuroticism: moody, irritable and anxious characteristics

Extraversion: sociable, lively and optimistic characteristics

(-)…

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