AQA Psychology A, Addictive Beahviour

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The Psychology of Addictive Behaviour:

How can we define Addiction?

The oxford dictionary specifically references harmful drugs in its definition of addiction but we know that this is not the case for all addiction. However Marlatt defined addiciton as a repetitive pattern that increases risk of diease and/or personal or social problems. Such behaviours may lead to a loss of control. This along with an inability to reguate behaviour is a key component of addictive behaviour.

Models of Addictive Behaviour

In all the models that try to explain addicitive behaviour, addiciton itself is split into three main sections. Inititation, Maintenance and Relapse. This is a common feautre in all the models and so is worth remebering.

The first model is the BIOLOGICAL MODEL:

This model states that addiction is causesd by physical issues or by the nature of the biological systems in the body. The physical issue could be due to genetic vulnerability or a diease or illness that leads to a neurochemical imbalance. This model best explains chemical addiction e.g. Herion

The Biological explanation can explain initiation, how the addiction starts, but not how the original behaviour begins e.g.


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