Addiction overview

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  • Created by: Amy
  • Created on: 10-06-14 19:23
What are the key assumptions of the biological model?
Genes/ neural imbalance causes addiction
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What pathway is associated with natural rewards?
Mesocorticolimbic dopamine pathway
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How do addictive drugs trigger this pathway?
By releasing dopamine, and activating the dopamine receptors
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Small et al?
Chocolate causes blood flow to the MDP in the same way that drugs do
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What's the main function of the pre-frontal cortex?
Cognitive functions, e.g. decision making
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Imaging studies looking at addictive behaviour found a key involvement with the prefrontal cortex
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What does this suggest?
Suggests that addiction was once adaptive, as linked with the same part of the brain as survival
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Outline the biological explanation of the initiation of smoking.
Nicotine triggers the nicotinic acetylcholine receptors which releases dopamine in the nucleus accumbens. Provides a temporary pleasure, followed by moodiness. Repeat the behaviour to remove the negative state and the addiction is formed
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What study is associated with this?
Caine et al - mice who lack D1 receptor didn't receive a high off cocaine and so didn't self-administer
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Outline the biological explanation of the maintenance of smoking.
The increased exposure to the nicotine reduces the pleasure and so the smoker smokes to remove the withdrawal symptoms
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Outline the biological explanation of the relapse in smoking.
The desire for the drug is more important than anything else. The pre-frontal cortex is less effective at decision making and so the smoker repeats the behaviour to remove negative state
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Who's associated with the genetic explanation of the initiation of smoking?
Comings: smokers and ex-smokers had a higher incidence of the A1 variant of the DRD2 gene than the general population
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What's a criticism of this?
Not all the smokers had a higher incidence of the A1 variant (48%) so can't be just based on genetics
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Who's associated with the genetic explanation of maintenance of smoking?
Vink: nicotine dependence was mainly influenced by genetic factors (75%). Therefore maintenance is more likely if the person is predisposed to it.
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Outline the genetic explanation of relapse in smoking.
Have to fight biological urges/ genetics because they're predisposed to smoke
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What's a problem with genetic explanations?
Can't isolate the genetics from the environment, especially in family studies
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Black - genetic gambling.
First degree relatives were more likely to inherit gambling behaviour - suggesting a strong genetic link
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What's some evaluation of the genetic explanation?
Explains individual difference as to why not everyone gets addicted. Reductionist as simplifies behaviour down into one gene. Less deterministic as may lead into treatments, allowing room for change. Removes blame from individual
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What are the main assumptions of the cognitive theory of addiction?
Faulty thinking relating to dysfunction beliefs cause irrational behaviour
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Outline the cognitive explanation of the initiation of gambling.
Self medication. Davis et al: gambling was often found to be linked to problems associated with poverty
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Outline the cognitive explanation of maintenance of gambling.
Gambler believes the behaviour is rewarding and so carries on. They have irrational beliefs about their ability to influence the game - faulty thinking
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Miller - alcoholics
Among alcoholics, who were treated as outpatients, a strong indicator of relapse was a lack of coping skills. This suggests a strong cognitive component involved in addiction
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Outline the cognitive explanation of relapse in gambling.
Recall bias - they exaggerate wins and underestimate losses. Griffiths: 30 gamblers and 30 non-gamblers. Gamblers explained their losses as near misses, made irrational verbalisation in play, and personified fruit machines.
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Increased activity in the frontal cortex during craving - suggesting a cognitive and biological link
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Outline the cognitive explanation of the initiation of smoking.
Self medication. Brandon and Baker: people started smoking because of a negative mood and expected their mood to be lifted after smoking
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Outline the cognitive explanation of maintenance of smoking.
Brandon: once addiction has been developed, the activity is influenced less by conscious expectations, and more unconscious expectations. Explains the high relapse rate
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Outline the cognitive explanation of relapse in smoking.
Affected by the smokers pros and cons of quitting. Devries and Backbier: people who see quitting as more beneficial than smoking are able to quit, those who don't, aren't
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Outline the key assumptions of the social explanation of addiction.
Addiction is learnt through reinforcement and association
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Outline the initiation, maintenance and relapse of addiction according to operant conditioning.
Initiation: positive reinforcement in mesocorticolimbic pathway. Maintenance: negative reinforcement, as the addict smokes/gambles to take away the negative state. Relapse: self-efficacy. Lawrence: long term smokers lacked belief that they could quit
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What's the variable ratio schedule?
Where gamblers know they'll win eventually as long as they keep playing
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Outline classical condition and addiction.
The result of two stimuli becoming associated with eachother. E.g. an image of a hypodermic needle gave addicts pleasure
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What's a criticism of classical conditioning and addiction?
Can't explain the initiation of an addiction, only maintenance
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Outline SLT initiation, maintenance and relapse of addiction.
Initiation: begins through operant conditioning, positive outcomes will be observed, and imitated. Maintenance and relapse: constantly surrounded by others doing the behaviour.
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50 teenage smokers - found peers influenced them directly and indirectly whereas parents only indirectly
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Outline self concept, self monitoring and self efficacy.
Concept: someone's opinion of themselves. Monitoring: how they're perceived by others. Efficacy: their belief in their ability
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4000 US teenagers - drug taking by peers was a huge influence on their own drug use
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What's a real life application of SLT?
Explains why people smoke if their friends/parents do
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How is the media involved in addictive behaviour?
Potentially promotes addictive behaviour, linked with SLT. Addictive behaviour is observed through media, imitated and then replicated
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What real life applications has come from this knowledge?
Ban on cigarette advertising - but won't totally eliminate exposure
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Film scenes analysed for addictive behaviour - 'trainspotting' - showed the excitement of drugs in contrast with dull boring life
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Sussman and Ames
Adverts associating smoking with excitement and popularity are important influences on the initiation of smoking
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BBC tv programmes shown about alcohol and didn't change viewers attitudes
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Evaluation of the role of the media on addiction.
Media can also be used to stop addictions. RLA - the watershed, that some behaviours aren't shown before certain times
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Films frequently portray the negative consequences of addiction, suggesting addiction is due to other factors
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What are the four vulnerability factors in addiction?
Peers, age, stress and personality factors
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872 participants analysed for 9 years - those with low self esteem at age 11 were at a higher risk of addiction at age 20
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Outline social identity theory.
Abrams and Hogg: conform and adapt to the social norms of the group
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Outline social learning theory.
Bandura: behaviour is observed and imitated by people they come into contact with the most, e.g. peers
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Teenagers are more sensitive to the rewards of nicotine
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Young women increasingly become addicted to facebook because of 'craving likes' and friend requests
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What makes teenagers more susceptible to addiction?
Teenagers are more likely to imitate behaviour/ experiment with harmful substances/ care about other peoples opinions
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Mice in stressful situations increased their dose of cocaine
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Stress during the prenatal season was positively correlated to drug use later in life
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What three personality traits did Eysenck say were genetic?
Psychoticism, neuroticism and extraversion
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Outline the theory of planned behaviour.
Behavioural attitude, subjective norms, and perceived behaviourist control, lead to intention which leads to behaviour
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How were behavioural attitudes attempted to be altered?
PSCHE lessons/education by showing the effects of an addiction
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How were subjective norms attempted to be altered?
By putting photos of the consequences of smoking on the packaging
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How is perceived behavioural control altered?
It was increased by a rise in confidence from family and peers
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Evaluation of models of prevention of addiction?
Doesn't take into account biology or social role of peers. Intentions are made when sober but actual behaviour is carried out when under the influence. Relies on self-report techniques, which could be bias. Correlational research
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What are the four types of public health interventions?
Medical advice, worksite advice, community based programmes, and government interventions
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Effectiveness of doctors advice increased if they'd been trained in patient centred techniques
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Price increases may reduce the desirable attraction to smoke by young people
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What pathway is associated with natural rewards?


Mesocorticolimbic dopamine pathway

Card 3


How do addictive drugs trigger this pathway?


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Card 4


Small et al?


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Card 5


What's the main function of the pre-frontal cortex?


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