Cognitive Explanations for Addiction

For revision, I made tables for the different explanations of addiction. It's important that you can answer questions about the initiation, maintenance and relapse of all three explanations for smoking and gambling, including AO2 detail.

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Stage Explanation Evaluation
Gelkopf et al. believes addicts use pathological behaviour to Li et al. ­ addicts gamble for pleasure or to escape reality
ease psychological symptoms. (`self-medicating').
Chosen form tends to be one associated and perceived as Self-medicating more likely to have other substance addictions.
helping a particular problem. Also less likely to commit crime to finance gambling as have
EG. Gambling helps depression from poverty. substitute means to satisfy goal.
Unlikely to make it better, but if judged as beneficial x However, argues that psychological distress leads to drug use.
addiction. Cause or effect?
Becona et al. ­ majority of gamblers have a major depressive
disorder. However, correlational, so it's possible that depression
results from gambling's costs.
The role of irrational beliefs
Oei and Gordon ­ irrational beliefs maintain gambling. x Explanation treatment. CBT attempts to correct cognitive errors
Despite probability of failure, irrationally believe can in irrational beliefs, reducing motivation to gamble.
influence outcome. x Benhsain and Ladouceur ­ used a gambling-related cognition scale
`Gambler's fallacy' ­ believe random events (coin toss) are to test two uni student groups ­ one trained in statistics, the other
influenced by recent events (three heads tail next time). not.
Superstitious behaviour to help manipulate outcome (lucky No difference in susceptibility to irrational cognitions, so relevant
shirt). knowledge does not make less susceptible.
Confident at `beating the system'. Delfabbro et al. ­ more irrational in some gambling cognition, but
Success skill. Failure bad luck. just as accurate as non-gamblers in estimating odds of winning.
Recall bias
Blanco et al. ­ overestimate wins, underestimate losses.
String of losses are not a disincentive.

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Just world hypothesis'
Believe they will eventually be rewarded.
Encouraged to carry on after heavy losses.
Believe they `deserve' to win after many losses.
Stage Explanation Evaluation
Expectancy theory:
Brandon et al. ­ behaviour led to addiction due to x Much research focuses on `excessive' behaviour and rarely considers
Initiation individual expectations of costs and benefits. the `loss of control' involved in addiction.
Brandon and Baker ­ negative moods lead adolescents It is unclear how expectancy links to loss of control.…read more

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Costs and benefits:
DeVries and Backbier ­ expectations of costs and Moolchan ­ use of nicotine patches only reduced replace if used with
Relapse benefits affect readiness to quit and relapse rates. CBT to change positive expectancies.
If sees smoking as with many benefits and few costs, Juliano and Brandon ­ expect cigarettes to improve mood, cravings
and quitting as having few benefits and unpleasant and weight control.
side effects less likely to quit successfully.…read more


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