To read up on models of addictive behaviour, refer to pages 609–618 of Eysenck’s A2 Level Psychology.
Ask yourself * Is there a biological basis to addictive behaviour? * Can somebody learn to be an addict? * How might explanations of addiction differ for different addictions?
What you need to know MODELS OF ADDICTIVE BEHAVIOUR | EXPLANATIONS OF ADDICTIVE BEHAVIOUR | * Biological, behavioural (learning), and cognitive models of addictive behaviour | * Biological, behavioural (learning), and cognitive explanations for initiation, maintenance, and relapse * Specific explanations of particular addictions including smoking and gambling |
MODELS OF ADDICTIVE BEHAVIOUR
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EXPLANATIONS OF ADDICTIVE BEHAVIOURS
Biological explanations of addictive behaviour
The biological explanation can explain chemical addictions such as nicotine more easily than addictions such as gambling. Biological explanations of addiction focus on neurotransmitters in the brain, and on genetic differences between people with addictions and people without addictions.
RESEARCH EVIDENCE FOR BIOLOGICAL EXPLANATIONS * The neurotransmitter dopamine and other brain biochemicals have been linked to addictions, both chemical addition (drug addiction) and behaviours such as gambling and videogame playing (Potenza, 2001, see A2 Level Psychology page 611). High levels of dopamine are experienced as rewarding, which is why the addiction is initially enjoyed and maintained. See the bullet point below on reinforcement. * Some family studies suggest a link between addictive behaviour and personality traits. For example, a study of monozygotic and dizygotic twins found a connection between genetics and the characteristics of anti-social personality (including attention seeking, not following social norms, and violence) and between these personality characteristics and alcoholism (Jang, Vernon, & Livesley, 2000, see A2 Level