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The Psychology of Addictive Behaviour

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Diagnosing Addiction:
Addiction refers to a range of behaviours including alcohol and drug dependence, issues with food, exercise, sex and
may other behaviours. Griffiths (2005) said that addiction is a vicious cycle ­ once you are in it, it becomes very hard
to get out. He came up with certain…

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Will be irritable and restless when trying to cut back on gambling
When losing money due to gambling, the individual will often return the next day to win their money back
They will lie to family members and therapist about the extent to which they gamble (make it seem as…

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Biological Models of Addiction:
The biological approach emphasises the influence of genetics and neurochemical factors in explaining the onset and
maintenance of addictive behaviours. The model argues that people are the most susceptible to developing an
addiction in the initiation phase because they have a predisposed biological vulnerability and therefore…

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the dopamine reward system as this gene work of an individual to develop a gambling
in it. They also found that individuals with a addiction.
SLC6A3-9 gene were significantly less likely to
have started smoking before 16. This study Lesieur (1988) conducted family studies and
provides evidence that the SLC6A3-9…

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effects of nicotine therefore, they crave it after
a short period of time after stopping.

Role of Dopamine:
Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is involved with many processes in the brain and is said to also be involved in
addiction. The model proposes that the onset and development of addiction…

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Deterministic: takes away the responsibility from the user claiming it as a result of changing brain chemistry ­
however, individuals do choose to start the addictive behaviour.


INITIATION Nicotine has been shown to increase dopamine When an individual wins a bat or gains
release within the…

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preventing drug this was found to decreases the
nicotine self-administration. This supports the
fact that nicotine plays a part in the dopamine
reward system and is linked with a smoking

RELAPSE As the mesolimbic pathway is linked to the When the individual is attempting to stop
pre-frontal cortex, this…

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Cognitive Models of Addiction:
This model of addiction believes that addictions are a result of the way we think and process situational stimuli.
There are four types of cognitive models: Expectancy model, self-medication model, self-efficacy model and rational
choice theory.

Expectancy model:
This model proposes that individual have expectations about…

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2. Maintenance: when the person is addicted to the behaviour, the psychological symptoms they are trying to treat
become the withdrawal symptoms which increase the likelihood that they will continue to do the behaviour and
maintain it.
a. Parrot (1998) found that in the short-term a cigarette relieves the stress…


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