The Behavioural Model Of Addiction

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  • Created by: Mitch!
  • Created on: 15-04-11 11:11

The Behavioural Model Of Addiction 

Behaviourist theory states that we learn behaviours by means of Operant Conditioning, Classical Conditioning & Social Learning Theory (SLT) or Modelling.

We can begin explaining the Behaviourist model by looking at Classical & Operant Conditioning.

From the point of view of Classical Conditioning, an addict may get a craving for their addictive behaviour or substance even in it's abscence, by the prescence of "cues", that remind the addict of their addiction (e.g. a heroin addict may see a hypodermic needle and thus feel a need to take heroin).(

Operant Conditioning suggests that addictive behaviours are repeated in order to gain a reward or avoid a punishment. So for addicts there rewards will be the various "highs" or comforts they get from their addiction, and the punishments - withdrawal symptoms.

This leads us on the the Cue-Reactivity Theory

Cue-Reactivity Theory

Studies show us that, addicts, when presented with various cues, situations or objects to remind them of their addiction, they react both Psychologically & Biologically to the


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