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Year 13 Psychology - Addiction (5 & 6)

Cognitive model of addiction
by Clare Schulze on 13 February 2014

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Transcript of Year 13 Psychology - Addiction (5 & 6)

Cognitive model of Addiction
This approach puts an emphasis on cognitive thought processes underlying the addiction.
Addict believes it is important
This could be shaped by a person's....
1. Attitude towards the behaviour
- "Alcohol helps me feel confident and relaxed"
2. Perception of others' opinion
- "I need a drink to fit in"
3. Perception of their ability to control their own behaviour
- "I can't cope with social situations if I don't have a drink"
Cognitive bias in fruit machine gambling

Griffiths (1994) compared 30 regular gamblers with 30 non regular gamblers and measured their verbalisations as they played a fruit machine.
Regular gamblers believed they were more skilful than they actually were and were more likely to make irrational verbalisations during play (e.g. ‘putting only a quid in bluffs the machine’) they tended to treat the machine as if it were a person (e.g. ‘this fruity is not in a good mood’).
They also explained away their loses by seeing ‘near misses’ as ‘near wins’. Something which justified their continuation (they are nearly winning not losing!) = IRRATIONAL THINKING
Cognitive model - Faulty thinking
Faulty Thinking – Lots of gamblers make faulty judgements.

How many of you have;
A Lucky Number?
A Lucky Colour?
A Lucky Charm?

Examples of faulty thinking

A gambler may say things like “26 is my lucky number and it is the 26th today”
A smoker might say “I think the government overestimate the risks of smoking”

Using smoking and gambling as examples…Write down other common example of faulty thinking
Rational Choice Theory

Becker and Murphy (1998): People choose to engage in an activity as a result of weighing up the costs and benefits.
An exception to this rule appears to be gambling, as rational addiction theory would predict that gamblers, particularly those which lose, should not continue their gambling behaviour.

The study by Griffiths (1994) offers an explanation for this based on the cognitive bias (i.e. irrational thinking) that distorts the reasoning of addictive gamblers.
Weigh up the costs & benefits of;
Last Lesson
Learning Explanation
Emphasis on the Environment & acquiring addictions through conditioning
Addictions can therefore be unlearned
Addictions are not 'all-or-none' but modifiable behaviour patterns
Types of Exam Questions for this section
1. Having a stage of addiction mentioned in the question
5. An application style question
3. Identifying one of the three explanations
4. Specifying smoking or gambling in the question (next two lessons)
2. Choice of an explanation for an addiction (could specify the addiction)
Examiners tip
- If a question is focused on one of the explanations/approaches remember that you may be able to gain AO2/3 marks by comparing or contrasting the model with the other two.....
Sally Example......
Sally is a young woman who puts herself down all the time. She thinks that she is overweight and has started to diet. Like her parents and some of her friends, Sally smokes cigarettes. Her smoking habit has recently become excessive and she is now addicted to nicotine’

Using your knowledge of the psychology of addictive behaviour, explain some of the likely reasons why Sally has become addicted to smoking
(6 Marks) June 2010

1. Research Self-Efficacy and how it has been used in the cognitive explanation to explain addiction.
2. Read over your Anthony handouts for all explanations.
3. Be able to outline each explanation without using your handout
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