Psychology A2 Revision

Topics: Addiction, Drug addiction, Nicotine Pages: 17 (4276 words) Published: November 9, 2012


Models of addiction

There are different models of addiction, these are the biological model, the cognitive model and the social learning model.

Initiation – this refers to the process where individuals start to become addictive

Maintance – this is the process whereby people continue to behave addictively even in the face of adverse consequences

Relapse – this is the process whereby individuals who have managed to give their addictive habit start to show signs and symptoms of the behaviour again.

They say that it is an illness.
Addiction is an illness therefore the problem is within the person. Because it is an illness, it can be cured.

We are born with something and that something is triggered off. More likely to be addicted to it. If a person quits their addiction, a biological predisposition makes relapse more likely.

The role of dopamine in addiction
Research shows addiction always stimulates the reward circuit in the brain. Rewarding experiences triggers the release of dopamine and effectively tell the brain to ‘do it again’. Maintance –

Drugs eventually result in a reduction in the activity of positive reward circuits in the brain. The negative state then become in dominant driving force in the drug calling. The individual doesn’t take the drug for pleasure, but takes it to avoid unpleasement. Because of this, they need more of the drug.

Relapse –
Eventually the desire for the drug may assume more importance than more other desires. The frontal cortex has become less effective at making decisions and judging the consequences of action. Imminent reward that forces the addict to take the drugs.

The endogenous opiod system
This is a type of addiction.
It also includes the brain.
Transmitters in the brain include enkeohain and the endorphins. They are activated in pleasure.
Naltexrexone – this is an alcohol treatment, which prevents opiod receptors, and this also prevents effects of alcohol.

KOCH AND LE MOAL says drugs dependence is to do with neuroadptations. They state that psychoactive drug’s change the brains wiring. If stopped, the changes are no longer needed and causes disruption.

Good way to research this is to study twins.
Family studies then to illustrate environmental factors in the development of addiction as well. Need to see if it is environmental or genetic.
Agravel & Lynsky 2006 – genetic influence with heritability estimates ranging between 45% -> 79% Kender et all (1998) – 1934 female twins. Drug addiction was mainly due to genetic factor. Blum et al (1991) – addictive off springs had the A1 gene showed that they had fewer dopamine receptors. Those who have these gens are more likely to be addicted to drugs which will produce more dopamine. But this could be because they have fewer dopamine.

X range is too wide
X animals are not humans so cant verify.
√ explains why some people are addicted
X BUT sometimes it depends on the environment
X neurotransmitters have complex effects. Not fully understood X neglects social situations
X too reductionalist – US soldiers took drugs while they were away but once they were home they didn’t. X some people may be experimenters
? chicken or the egg
X very correlation. Can’t connect them in a cause and effect way. X need more research in to it
X people may indulge but not addicted
X animal studies

Acquires habits, which are learnt according to the principles of SLT. Things can be unlearned.
There are different degrees of addiction.

Bandura – Bobo doll
Children learnt via observation
Some one who is reinforced (operant) their behaviour is more likely yo be limited Vicarious reinforcement – reinforcement received...
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