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The Psychology of Addictive Behaviour

Addiction refers to a range of behaviours associated with a dependence on
Tobacco dependence is the most common addiction, although it is a decreasing one
in most developing countries.

12% of adults or 30% of 18 24 year olds take illegal drugs.


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The biological model emphasises the influence of biochemical and genetic factors on
addictive behaviours.
The Biological Model suggests people are addicted due to the physical dependence:
the chemicals and biological reactions.


Initiation of a Smoking Addiction
The Biological Model states that initiation is due to the role of genetics.…

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advantages to this approach such as allowing researchers to study the family history
to develop an effective treatment. However, there are also limitations as the
approach ignores all other potential influences such as irrational thought processes,
social context, etc.

There is supporting evidence for the effect of individual differences (genetic…

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Relapse of a Gambling Addiction

Intense stimulation and excitement for a pathological gambler. Blaszczynski et al
(1990) found that poor tolerance for boredom may contribute to repetitive gambling
behaviour. Pathological gamblers had significantly higher boredom proneness
scores than a control group of nongamblers. There were no significant differences
between the…

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Initiation of a Gambling Addiction

Initially, the person may see others winning at gambling. Their expectations may
then drive them to place their first bet, e.g. starting with the lottery or a small bet.
Once started, the excitement is associated with the whole gambling process,
reinforcing the positive feeling…

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gambling because of their exposure to gambling and are motivated to seek
treatment. (Blaszczynski and Nower .) Emotionally vulnerable gamblers have
accompanying anxiety and/ or depression and have a history of poor coping skills.
Their accompanying psychological dysfunction makes them resistant to change and
means they'll require treatment for their…

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Pavlov first discovered this.

Conditioned cues associated previously with receiving nicotine increase the
likelihood that the smoker will respond by smoking.
Hogarth et al (2010) found that the amount of craving increased. Significant when a
conditioned stimulus related to smoking was presented.

A concept related to the social learning explanation…

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The cognitive model suggests you become addicted to a behaviour or substance
because of the way we think. I.e. people choose their behaviour as they have free
will, based on their own beliefs, opinions, values, expectations, etc.

These are often but not always, irrational thoughts.
E.g. my Uncle smoked 50…

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Can be explanation due to Becks Vicious Circle . E.g. a person may be unhappy and
to combat this they start smoking meaning that the addiction initiates. This could
then lead to medical problems due to the poor health associated with smoking. It
could also lead to financial problems as…

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Gelkopf et al (2002) propose that individuals intentionally use different forms of
pathological behaviour to treat the psychological symptoms they suffer with. The
activity chosen is perceived as helping with a particular problem. E.g. some activities
help anxiety and Gambling helps with the depression associated with poverty.

Maintenance of a…


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