(Full Notes) Biological, Cognitive and Learning Approach

Notes outlining Initiation, Maintenance and Relapse of each approach (of both gambling and smoking), along side evaluation for each one. 

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  • Created on: 30-12-14 09:21
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Psychology of Addictive Behaviour
Biological - Gambling
Initiation ­ Role of Genetics
o Shah et al (2005) carried out a twin study of genetic transmission of gambling
in men and found evidence that genetics influenced the possibility of
addictive behaviour from one generation to the next.
o Black et al (2006) found that first degree relatives (parents) of pathological
gamblers were more likely to also suffer pathological gambling ­ compared to
more distant relatives and therefore demonstrating a strong link with
Maintenance ­ Pituitary Adrenal (1) & Sensation Seeking (2)
o (1) Paris et al (2010) measured gamblers cortisol levels BEFORE and AFTER
watching a video on their preferred method of gambling (cortisol is released
to show excitement from the pituitary adrenal as a response to stimuli. They
found that recreational gamblers (in control of addiction) had higher levels of
cortisol, whereas pathological gamblers (progressive addiction, no control)
presented no increase in cortisol. This shows that for a pathological gambler,
their pituitary adrenal is underactive due to their excessive gambling, and so
have a constant need for more intense excitement (they need a massive hit
of excitement to activate the pituitary adrenal response).
o (2) Zuckerman (1979) claimed that there are individual differences in the
need for stimulation. He found that high sensation seekers have a lower
appreciation of risk, perceiving the rush they get as `positive' and healthy (in
comparison to low sensation seekers) ­ They are therefore more likely to
Relapse ­ Boredom Avoidance
o Blaszczynski et al (1990) found that a poor tolerance to boredom could
contribute to repetitive gambling behaviour. They also found that
pathological gamblers had a significantly higher `boredom proneness' scores
than a control group of `non-gamblers'.
1. Explaining Individual Differences - Genetic explanations can explain why some
people develop pathological gambling, while others exposed to the same
environment do not. The idea of genetic vulnerability, may also explain how some
are resistant to treatment, and some are likely to relapse.
2. Sensation Seeking and Type of Gambling ­ Bonnaire et al (2006) found that
pathological gamblers who bet at race tracks had higher sensation seeking scores
than those playing games available in café's. These findings led the researchers to
conclude that there are two subtypes; the race track gamblers (who play `active'
games for arousal) and the café gamblers (who play `passive' games to avoid

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Reductionism ­ Claims that this approach ignores the importance of external factors
in development of behaviour. It also reduces the complex phenomenon down to a
simple explanation.
4. Ignores Environmental and Situational Factors ­ These include factors such as
accessibility to gambling opportunities, incentives to gambling (e.g. free bets, peer
pressure) and the provision of alcoholic drinks while gambling.…read more

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The Role of Genetics ­ Lerman et al (2004) found evidence suggesting that a
smoker's genetic make-up may affect the successfulness of medication prescribed
for quitting smoking. This suggests that genetic testing of individuals allows
therapists to choose the most effective therapy to maximise the likelihood of them
quitting smoking.
3. Reductionism ­ Claims this approach neglects other possible determining factors e.g.
social context of behaviour. However, regarding smoking as a biological problem
creates the possibility that it could be treated by pharmacological methods.
4.…read more

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Cognitive - Gambling
Initiation ­ Self-Medication
o Gelkopf et al (2002) proposed that individuals intentionally use different
forms of pathological behaviour (e.g. alcohol and drugs) to treat the
psychological symptoms from which they suffer. They chose the activity
which perceives to help them with the problem.
Maintenance ­ Role of Irrational Beliefs
o Oei and Gordon (2008) found that despite the objective probability of failure,
problem gamblers frequently have irrational perceptions about their ability
to influence the outcome of gambling.…read more

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Initiation ­ Expectancy Theory
o Brandon et al (1999) found that addicts differ from non addicts in terms of
their expectancies about positive vs. negative effects of their behaviour.
Expectancy theories propose that behaviour escalates into an addiction
because of the expectations a person has about the costs and benefits of that
activity.…read more

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Initiation ­ Operant Conditioning
o This proposes that any behaviour that produces a consequence that the
individual finds rewarding, it then becomes more frequent (positive
o Griffiths (2009) claimed that gamblers who play with slot machines may
become addicted because of psychological, physiological and financial
o Delfrabro and Winefield (1999) suggested that gamblers are not always
rational in their thinking and therefore greater weight may be given to the
experience (stimulus) of winning.…read more

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Learning ­ Smoking
Initiation ­ Role Models (1) and Popularity (2)
o (1) Kandel and Wu (1995) suggested that Social Learning Theory explanations
of experimental smoking propose that young people begin smoking as a
consequence of observing social models around them who smoke.
o (2) Mayeux (2008) found a positive correlation between smoking at age 16
and boy's popularity two years later. This suggests that popularity among
peers serves as a positive reinforce in the initiation of smoking.…read more



Great notes, when will you have finished schizophrenia?

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