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· People could become addicted because they have a genetic vulnerability.
· Multiple genes are likely to be responsible for addictive behaviour. Dif. genes dif. Addictions
· Family studies have lent support. 36% of people who have a relative that suffers with an alcohol
problem have also been diagnosed with an alcohol use disorder. However we cannot separate
out the environmental effects here.
· Adoption studies can lend support (Heath 2000)
· Twin studies heritability of nicotine dependence is 60-70% (Kendler)
· Lerman explained there was a gene called SLC6A3-9. (Some little children, 6 and 3 (makes) 9)
People with this gene are born more likely to become addicted to smoking. It is linked to
dopamine regulation in the brain.
· Shields 1962 looked at 42 twin pairs that had been reared apart. Only 9 pairs were discordant
for smoking. However this could reflect the social context of the time most people
smoked in 1962 and may not reflect the influence of genes.
· Comings et al people born with the gene D2A1 (Drive 2 (the) A1) are more likely to become
problem gamblers than those who are not.
· Positive reward theory. After placing a bet, a period of ANTICIPATION follows. The excitement
leads to an ADRENALINE rush. This pleasurable adrenaline rush can be ADDICTIVE. Initiation is
linked to the reward of the adrenaline rush.
Here, it is clear that genetics and adrenaline rushes are key in the initiation of
addictive behaviours. In the next slide we will look at how and why people maintain
their addictive behaviour, according to the biological model.…read more
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· Dopamine seems to be a key neurotransmitter involved with addictive behaviour. It regulates
mood and emotion and is important in reward processes.
· The mesolimbic dopamine system appears to be the most important for motivational processes
· Normally, cells in the MDS release small amounts of dopamine into the synaptic cleft leads to
stable mood states
· Nicotine affects the nervous system by increasing these dopamine levels.
· As dopamine levels are increased in the brain, more positive feelings are felt by the individual.
They therefore want to maintain their behaviour.
· The SLC6A3-9 gene increases dopamine in the brain, leading to positive feelings. They want to
· On a study on rats and snails they found that nicotine amplifies the reward system. This makes
other behaviours more enjoyable and rewarding. If this is the case for humans, people could keep
smoking to make tasks seem less boring, or neutral tasks more fun. Remember we cannot
generalise the results to humans - extrapolation. Safe-guarding of animals, wouldn't
be allowed now. Used electric shocks.
· Shacter 1977 withdrawal symptoms are unpleasant. People keep smoking, maintaining nicotine
to avoid withdrawal.
· FMRI scans showed that blood flow in the brain is different in gamblers compared to non-
gamblers. Potenza 2003 investigated urge or craving states in men diagnosed with a gambling
problem. Found that before they began to feel an emotional response, they showed different
blood flow in their brains compared to controls. These differences were only found when
watching the gambling videos and not during normal happy/sad situations. An addiction could
have something to do with an inability to control behaviour and make decisions. This could be
why they maintain the addiction. Study gender bias
· Although withdrawal symptoms are not as severe as smoking, people still keep gambling to avoid
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· When people quit smoking they are faced with horrible withdrawal
symptoms. They may restart their smoking as a way of eliminating these
· Lerman smokers that were deprived of nicotine had an increase in acitivity
of other parts of the brain. After one night with no nicotine there was
increased blood flow in parts of the brain linked with attention, memory
and reward. These parts are active during times of craving. Some people are
more prone to this and therefore more likely to relapse.
· Again, it is easy to stop withdrawal symptoms by re-engaging in the
· Ciarrochi et al 1987 gamblers often have other problems co-inciding, for
example alcohol and shopping. When quitting gambling, they switch their
attention to these other behaviours. When these behaviours become too
much of a problem, they switch back to gambling to keep that positive
feeling experienced when engaging in the behaviour.
People can relapse in order to avoid withdrawal symptoms. Some
people are more prone to relapse.…read more
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· This model believes that addictive behaviours are initiated as they are learned through a number of
· One is classical conditioning - unconditioned stimulus produces unconditioned response. US is
associated with a conditioned stimulus, this CS will lead to a conditioned response.
e.g. US = sitting with friends UR = feel relaxed CS = smoking a cigarette CR = feel relaxed (associate
cigarette with relaxation)
· Operant conditioning behaviours are repeated if they are rewarded. Rewards vary with addictive
behaviour. Theories based on OC and CC do not take account that humans are thinking beings
and don't respond in simple stimulus-response fashion.
· Social learning theory learn through observing others that behaviours can be exciting and rewarding.
Acknowledges important cognitive factors and can explain how the media has an influence
· Operant conditioning child starts to smoke to gain peer approval. First experience of smoking is
unpleasant why do children continue? OC cant explain.
· SLT children begin smoking by imitating role models. Excersise influence if they are of same age, sex,
race and of higher status. They see these people enjoying it and EXPECT that they will find it rewarding
· Children are twice as likely to initiate in smoking if their parents are smokers. If parental attitude is
firmly against smoking, child is 7 times less likely to start.
· People associate smoking with rewards. Young people want access to social networks and smoking can
remove a punisher, e.g. stress, loneliness.
· Peer pressure important children can be coerced into smoking by peers who bully, tease or reject them
for not smoking. Michell and West 1996 young people have a `readiness' for smoking and it is only on
these people that peer pressure has an effect. Don't want to smoke - avoid contexts in which smoking
might be expected.
· In gambling, people may observe other people winning and expect to win themselves. This is the drive to
· Excitement is associated with the whole gambling process reinforces positive feelings. This is further
reinforced by the occasional win and is particularly crucial in early successes.…read more
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· People who smoke are often friends with and social groups with people
that also smoke. The positive reinforcement produced from feeling sociable
and having a sense of belonging makes it hard to give up.
· Routines of smoking may be hard to resist forms an important part of the
day for smokers.
· Operant conditioning plays a part in the maintenance of gambling
behaviour. They experience the biological `buzz' when winning money and
this is exciting for them. In order to continue experiencing this feeling, they
· The rewards are easy to come by and are reliable. There are easy
opportunities to gamble
· Gambling provides a partial reinforcement (reinforcement that produces
very persistent learned behaviours) - you don't win all the time. But you
will win eventually, it is the infrequency of winning that maintains gambling.
To be extinguished gambling must be consistently associated with negative
or neutral feelings.
People want to continue to feel the positive reinforcement by
maintaining the habit. Smokers associate having a cigarette with
groups of friends and feeling relaxed. Gamblers gain partial
reinforcement and the infrequency of winning increases the…read more