The Learning Approach



  • Initiation
  • operant conditioning
  • gambling slot machines cna become addictive because of the physiological, psychological, social and financial rewards.
  • gamblers not always rational with their thinking and greater weight can be given to the experience of winning
  • Maintenance
  • Intermittent Reinforcement
  • People continue to gamble because of the intermittent reinforcement that is characteristic of most types of gambling. get used to long periods with no rewards.
  • Social Approval
  • peers and family members of problem gamblers more likely to approve; continued more so than other respondents.
  • Relapse
  • Conditioned Cues
  • Addicts associate other stimuli with their gambling behaviour. these act as triggers. coming into contact with these cues will trigger relapse.
  • Approach-Avoidance Conflict
  • gambling has both positive and negative consequences, therefore motivated to approach and to avoid situations where gambling is involved. motivation therefore fluctuates between wanting to gamble and wanting to stop. 


  • Can't explain all forms of gambling
  • some forms of gambling have a short lived period between behaviour and consequence; others have a much longer period between bet and outcome, less to do with chance and more to do with skill.
  • Different Pathways
  • Different pathways for gambling that predict the likelihood of treatment being successful.


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