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Behavioural explanations of addiction 2013
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Behavioural explanations of addiction 2013

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  • 1. Biological, Cognitive and Learningapproaches to explaining initiation,maintenance and relapse, and theirapplications to smoking and gamblingAddictive Behaviour
  • 2. Initiation Maintenance RelapseAddictionA repetitive habit pattern thatincreases the risk of diseaseand/or associated personal andsocial problemsOften experiencedsubjectively as a „loss ofcontrol‟.The behaviour continuesdespite attempts to abstainor moderate use
  • 3. Behavioural ExplanationIn groups identify key words that youassociate with the behaviouralapproach to PsychologyHow can we apply these terms toaddictive behaviour?i) Social learning theoryii) Classical conditioningiii) Operant conditioning
  • 4. Behavioural explanation(Initiation – smoking)Observation of smoking behaviour• Vicarious reinforcement (e.g. role model receiving reward)Imitation• Expectation of rewardDirect reinforcement (e.g. more friends, newsocial group)Self-efficacy (confidence in ability to smokeincreases)Smoking addiction developedBe sure thatyou make notesabout how thisexplicitly linksto smokingNo link = nomarks!A01
  • 5. Behavioural explanation(Initiation – smoking)• Morgan and Grube (1991) investigated how peers affect theinitiation of cigarette smoking, drinking alcohol and drug use.They found that whilst peers were influential in the initiation ofdrug use, through both example and approval; the influence ofthe best friend was stronger and remained more influential thanthat of other friends.• They found that the most important factor in the initiation ofdrug use was the presence of a best friend who has an addictivebehaviour (best friends are important in helping us to developand maintain our self-concept).This is a strength because it demonstrates that with the influenceof another individual, particularly one that is already considered arole model (someone the individual identifies with), an individual canlearn to begin smokingA02
  • 6. Behavioural explanation(Initiation – smoking) A02Lader & Matheson(1991) found thatchildren of smokerswere twice as likelyto smokeMurray et al (1994) found that if parentalattitudes were firmly against smoking then thechild is 7x less likely to start smokingThis links role models to preventing behaviour,make sure your linking sentence states that it’sevidence of how influential others are in anindividual’s decision makingMayeux et al (2008) found apositive predictive validity inboys between smoking at age 16and popularity 2 years later.However….
  • 7. Classical conditioning –learning through associationWhat scenarios might a smoking addictassociate with smoking behaviour?Behavioural explanation(Maintenance – smoking) A01Beingat abar?Breaktimeatwork Afterdinner?Beingaroundfriendsthatsmoke?
  • 8. • The addiction becomes associated with certainenvironmental factors or „cues‟ until those factorsproduce a „high.‟Other environmental cues may also become associatedwith the addictive behaviour and may therefore serveto maintain the behaviour (through association). So, ifthe person usually meets their friends in a “bar” thenany time the person is in a bar, they may want to“smoke”.Behavioural explanation(Maintenance – smoking) A01Real life applicationOnce the habit has been acquired, it ismaintained because the person doesn‟t wantto experience any unpleasant withdrawalsymptomsi.e. not having cigarette associated withunpleasant consequences
  • 9. Heather and Greeley (1990) suggested that “cue exposure theory” offers a goodexplanation of the strong cravings that people often experience once they have been weaned offtheir addictive substance. This is because the cues associated with the addictive behaviourare still available in the environment.• Drummond et al (1990) proposed a treatment approach based on the idea that the cuesassociated with drug-taking are an important factor in the maintenance of a drug/alcoholhabit.Cue exposure involves presenting the cues without the opportunity to engage in the drug-takingbehaviour leading to stimulus discrimination. This works on the idea that the previousassociation will be extinguished; which will reduce cravings for a drug when the individual isexposed to that particular cue.• White and Hiroi (1993) found that rats preferred locations where they had previouslyreceived injections of amphetamines, suggesting that this “place preference” is learned bythe process of association. There would therefore be an expectation associated with thispreferred place which would affect any rehabilitation of any drug user. This shows howdifficult it would be to give up the cravings – if the person/ rat is still in sameenvironment.Behavioural explanation(Maintenance – smoking) A02
  • 10. BehaviouralExplanationIDEA‟s /A03Approaches:Debates:Issues:Ethics:A03
  • 11. Operant conditioning –learning through reinforcementAddictions provide positive reinforcements („highs‟) and negativereinforcements (withdrawal). Both of these serve to strengthen theaddictive behaviour and increasing the chances that it will occur again.Behavioural explanation(Relapse – smoking) A01if smoking results in the person feeling relaxed, more confident or becausethe behaviour gains the approval of friends and so smoking is maintaineddue to these desirable consequences (positive reinforcement)Smoking may be maintained as a result of negative reinforcement (i.e., thereward is the removal of an unpleasant consequence). Therefore smokingmay be maintained due to the fact that smoking may remove an unpleasantconsequence i.e., nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
  • 12. Behavioural explanation(Relapse – smoking)A02West (2006) suggested that theprocess of operant conditioning indeveloping and maintaining anaddiction does not requireconscious awareness. Thisexplains why addicts frequentlyexperience a conflict betweenthe conscious desire to restrainthemselves and the motivationalforces that push them tocontinue. As a result the smokercan relapse due to operantconditioning (want for positivereinforcement and the desire tonot experience negativereinforcement)Robinson & Berridge (1993) point out thatalthough many people may take addictivedrugs at some time in their lives, relativelyfew become addicts. This indicates thatthere must be other contributing factorsthat result in a behaviour becoming anaddiction rather than just experiencingpositive consequences for the behaviourLINK TO SMOKING!!Operant conditioning explanations ofaddiction propose that people become„hooked‟ on specific activities because whenthey engage in that activity it leads to somedesired consequence. However, in real lifethese positive consequences are much morelikely to be occasional rather thanconsistent. LINK TO SMOKING!!
  • 13. BehaviouralExplanationIDEA‟s /A03Approaches:Debates:Issues:Ethics:A03