Addiction in Psychology A2 (includes smoking and drinking and gambling)

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Models of addiction
There are different models of addiction, these are the biological model, the
cognitive model and the social learning model.

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Initiation ­ this refers to the process where individuals start to become addictive
Maintance ­ this is the process whereby people continue to behave addictively
even in the face of adverse consequences
Relapse ­ this is the process whereby individuals who have managed to give
their addictive habit start to show signs and symptoms of the behaviour again.
They say that it is an illness.
Addiction is an illness therefore the problem is within the person.…read more

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They are activated in pleasure.
Naltexrexone ­ this is an alcohol treatment, which prevents opiod receptors, and
this also prevents effects of alcohol.
KOCH AND LE MOAL says drugs dependence is to do with neuroadptations.
They state that psychoactive drug's change the brains wiring. If stopped, the
changes are no longer needed and causes disruption.
Good way to research this is to study twins.
Family studies then to illustrate environmental factors in the development of
addiction as well.…read more

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There are different degrees of addiction.
Bandura ­ Bobo doll
Children learnt via observation
Some one who is reinforced (operant) their behaviour is more likely yo be
Vicarious reinforcement ­ reinforcement received indirectly by observing
someone else and being reinforced
Imitating someone we admire
Cognitive labelling model
An alcoholic walks pass a pub. The cue, associated with the drinking
gives a psychological response and actives a memory of drinking. The
sign of a high heart rate tells the person they need a drink.…read more

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Relapse person giving up, relapse might be less likely if they have
`relearnt' the addictive behaviour
all individuals are equally suspicious
X animals
X learning theories are reductionalists
can explain differences
Cognitive is thinking. This emphasises the habitual ways people deal with life
events may lead to addicitive behabviour. A person can rely on drugs or even
gambling as a way of coping with life's problems. But these may create more
problems than causes.…read more

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X relative success of cognitive treatment of addicition support there is some
cognitive basis
X publication bias studies show a link between positive expectations and
drinking behaviour. But not all studies are publlished so we get an
unrepresentative view
Smoking produces a phsyical addicition to nicotine, influencing dopamine
production and the brain reward system. The WHO (world health organisations)
estimates there are 1.1 billion smokers worldwide and they smoke 6 trilliopn
cigarettes a year.…read more

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In a US study, it suggests strong links between smoking and poor school
records, low selfesteem no sport, and other illegal drug taking.
Cognitive factors
Smokers are seen as possessing irrational thoughts for instance that smoking
improves cognitive functionoing or calm nerves. Such dysfunctional ideas can be
The fact that biological therapies help people quit supports the biological theory.
Many people quit nicotine replacements suggesting social and cognitive factors.…read more

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Stopping gambling seems to result in the same kind of withdrawal symptoms
associated with stopping drugs. ROSENTHAL ET AL (1992) found that over
60% of pathology gamblers, reported physical withdraw and these could be
compared with withdrawal of drugs.
A number of studies have shown a link between potential brain abnormalities. It
is linked between front lobe dysfunction and problem gambling (CAVEAINI ET
AL 2002)
There is evidence from studies that gambling could be inherited.…read more

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Vulnerability of addiction
Self esteem
Teenagers are more likely to be linked with low self esteem and have addictive
behaviours. Higher rates of depression and suicide DEVERENSKY 2003
LEVY 2009 ­ low self esteem increase the chances of developing addiction.
Genetic vulnerability. Several factors might be required have an addiction.
AO2 ­
Cause and effect ­ addiction because of low self esteem or low self esteem
causes addiction.…read more

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Men are more likely to gamble because they are more competitive. Recent
evidence has shown that there is an increase of women gamblers. With females,
they are more likely to be addicted to smoking because of the risks of the
consequences. (FOX 1994)
However, in gambling more boys are regular gamblers than girls.
JACOBS 2001 says boys start gambling earlier, spend more money and enjoy
competitive skill based games.
Social context
Social context can influence vulnerability to dependency in many ways.…read more


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