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Cognitive Model of Addiction

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Tasha Frost

on 9 April 2013

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Transcript of Cognitive Model of Addiction

description/evaluation The Cognitive Model of Addiction cognition is thinking
the cognitive model therefore emphasises the habitual ways of thinking and interpreting events which may lead to the initiation and maintenance of addictive behaviour
a person may come to rely on drugs or even gambling as a way of coping with life's problems
When these coping mechanisms are used excessively they may create more problems than they solve BECK ET AL 2001
'THE VICIOUS CYCLE' Cognitive Outline Low mood can be relieved by addictive behaviour
Addiction can lead to problems
These problems lead to low mood
The cycle begins again Coping: self medication model initiation: individuals intentionally use the addictive behaviour to cope with stress/ psychological problems
The particular addiction is not chosen at random but has been selected as it is perceived to help a particular problem
helps fulfill 3 major functions: mood regulation, performance management and distraction
maintenance and relapse: many smokers mention 'stress relief'' as a major reason why they persist with their habit Expectancy Theory expectations about the outcomes of addictive behaviour are thought to contribute to their excessive use
addicts differ from non addicts in terms of their expectations about the positive versus negative effects of these behaviours
initiation: heavier drinkers have been shown to have more positive expectations about the effects of alcohol compared to light drinkers
maintenance and relapse: BRANDON 2004, as addiction develops, the activity is influenced less by conscious expectations and more by unconscious expectations
This explains the loss of control many addicts experience, and the difficulties they experience in abstaining Self-Efficacy Theory Bandura (1997): self-efficacy refers to a belief in ones self to organise and control any actions required to meet particular goals.
Self-efficacy plays an important part in whether or not a person will start to engage in addictive behaviour (INITIATION)
and whether they believe they can do anything about it once established (MAINTENANCE AND RELAPSE) 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 as they tended to treat the machine like a person
they also explained away their loses by seeing 'near misses' as 'near wins'. Sometimes which justified their continuation = IRRATIONAL THINKING Evaluation of cognitive model Strengths:
cognitive explanations help explain individual differences
GRIFFITHS 1994 found that regular players seemed capable of gambling without attending to what they were doing
This suggests that cognitive process were not a major role in the maintenance of addictive behaviour
Publication bias: many studies have supported a link between positive expectations and drinking behaviour and other drug uses. However, studies which have failed to show a link may not have been published giving an unrepresentative view of the research area
May be limited to particular addictions
Have less effect in chemical addictions but more of pronounced effect in gambling Rational Choice Theory BECKER AND MURPHY (1998): people who choose to engage in an activity as a result of weighing up the costs and benefits
The theory uses the concept of 'utility' which in economics is a measure of the relative satisfaction resulting from consumption of a particular good or service
To calculate the utility of a particular activity, individuals must weigh up the costs incurred against the benefits they are likely to receive
From this perspective, addiction is experienced as an increase in consumptions of 'goods' because individuals have made a rational choice concerning their current and future 'utility' of their drug taking, gambling or drinking
Maintenance and relapse: according to this theory, addicts are rational consumers who look ahead and behave in a way that is likely to maximise the preferences they hold
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 that distorts the reasoning of addictive gamblers
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