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BEHAVIOUR…read more

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Biological approach
· Initiation: + Explains why some people develop
Pathological gambling runs in families. First pathological gambling while others with
degree relatives of pathological gamblers are the same environment and life pressures
more likely to suffer from pathological do not. This is because some people are
gambling than more distant relatives. more vulnerable due to their genetic
· Maintenance: predisposition (diathesis stress model).
Pathological gambling is associated with an - Ignores external factors e.g. peer
underactive pituitary adrenal response to pressure and alcohol. More likely that it is
gambling stimuli. They experience no
increase in cortisol (stress hormone) when a combination of external AND biological
shown videos of gambling whereas factors.
recreational gamblers do. - Doesn't explain why some types of
· Relapse: gambling are more addictive than others
Poor tolerance to boredom may contribute to e.g. online gambling.
repetitive gambling behaviour. Pathological - Reductionist: reduces complex
gamblers had significantly higher boredom phenomena to a simple level of
proneness scores than non gamblers. explanation.…read more

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Cognitive approach
· Initiation: + Li et al found that compared to pathological gamblers
This model proposes that individuals intentionally use who gambled for pleasure, pathological gamblers who
different forms of pathological behaviour (e.g. gambled to escape the painful reality of life were
pathological gambling) to treat the psychological significantly more likely to have substance
symptoms from which they suffer and to try and help dependencies. This supports the initiation explanation
the problem. of self medication because they are trying different
· Maintenance: methods to try and overcome their problems.
Cognitive distortions or irrational beliefs play a role in - Benhansian administered a gambling related
the maintenance of pathological gambling. Problem cognition scale to two groups of university students,
gamblers frequently have irrational perceptions about one group trained in statistics and the other in a non
their ability to influence the outcomes of their gambling. statistical field. They found no difference between the
These are associated with the gamblers fallacy two groups in their susceptibility to irrational gambling
(random events are influenced by recent events). related cognitions. Therefore despite the logic
underlying cognitive explanations of pathological
· Relapse:
gambling, possessing relevant knowledge does not
Pathological gamblers often suffer from recall bias (the make people less susceptible to cognitive distortions.
tendency to remember and overestimate wins while
- Research has shown that a major depressive disorder
forgetting about and underestimating losses.
is evident in the majority of pathological gamblers.
Individuals believe that they will eventually be rewarded
However, this correlation does not necessarily show
for their efforts and that they deserve to win (just world
cause and effect.
hypothesis).…read more

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Learning approach
· Initiation: - Operant conditions cant explain all forms of
Operant conditioning ­ any behaviour that produces a gambling. Some types of gambling have a short time
consequence that the individual finds rewarding will period between the behaviour and the consequence,
become more frequent. They become addicted due to a whereas others have a much longer time period
range of rewards ­ physiological (the buzz), which is more to do with skill than luck.
psychological (near miss) and social rewards (peer - Different pathways to gambling have been found.
pressure). Behaviourally conditioned (start because of role
· Maintenance: models or peer groups) and emotionally vulnerable
Intermittent reinforcement (occasional) gambling gambler (history of depression, anxiety and negative
reinforced by occasional pay-out. experiences so gambling is their emotional relief).
Social approval ­ reinforcement from friends. Gamblers - Fails to explain why only some people become
whose parents and peers approve, gamble more addicted. Some people initially engage in active
frequently. behaviour and although they gamble and experience
· Relapse: reinforcements not many become addicted
Conditional cues ­ learn through classical conditioning suggesting other factors may be involved in the
to associate stimuli with gambling e.g. sights of a maintenance.
casino. These stimuli increase arousal and act as + Significance of occasional reinforcement ­ learning
explanations say that people become addicted to
Approach avoidance conflicts ­ motivated to approach activities because of a desired outcome but this is
and avoid situations where gambling is involved, but occasional as gambling does not always produce a
when one side takes over e.g. `devil side' they relapse.
positive outcome.…read more

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Biological approach
· Initiation: + Thorgeirsson et al identified a specific
Family and twin studies estimate that heritability of
tobacco smoking to be between 39% and 80%. Vink et
gene variant on chromosome 15 that
al studied 1572 Dutch twins and found smoking influenced the number of cigarettes
initiation was explain by genetic (44%) and smoked per day and nicotine
environmental (56%) influences.
dependence. Smokers who smoked more
· Maintenance:
Nicotine dependence was influence primarily by genetic than 10 cigarettes per day were more
factors (75%) such as individual differences in nicotine likely to have this gene so genetics may
metabolism. not influence initiation but may affect
Research suggests that mothers who smoked heavily
while pregnant (at least 20 cigarettes a day) were more maintenance.
likely to have children who more likely to become
· Relapse:
- Ignores environmental factors such as
Twin studies suggest that the ability to quit smoking is social context/peer pressure.
subject to genetic influences. Vink et al found that 54%
of quit failure could be attributed to heritability and
specific gene clusters. - The theory is reductionist.…read more

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