Learning models of addictions


Classical conditioning

an inconditioned stimulus produces an unconditioned response but if this unconditioned stimulus is frequentley associated with the conditioned stimulus it starts to produce a conditioned response.

Wilkner- american doctor found the treated former drug addicts experienced withdrawal symptoms when they returned to a place associated with their former drug use

withdrawal symptoms occur when theres a delay in the ususal fix. These lead to cues in the enviroment where the drugs are available- they are an unconditioned response

Cue exposure theory- Heather and Greenly - This explains the strong cravings former adddicts get even when they have been weaned off of their addicitve substance

but this is reductionist

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Operant conditioning

behaviours are likely to be reppeated if they are rewarded in some way-

positive reinforcement- a desireable consequence is produced

negative reinforcement- an undesirable consequence is removed

rewards vary depending on substance or person- a certain feeling or activity may beocme a discrimitive stimulus that makes the drug taking even more rewarding

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Social learning theory

outcome expectancy model- a person with addictive behaviours has certain expectations when confronted with cues in the enviroment for the addictive substance e.g. watching others enjoy drinking makes you realise how much you enjoy drinking

cognitive labelling model- an emotional expereince is the relationship between pysiological arousal and its cognitive interpretation e.g. smelling alcohol, increased heart rate, leads to feeling its fun

we do not need to experience things directly- we can learn by observing others

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