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PSYA4 addictive behaviour - The cognitive approach lesson 2

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Amanda Lane

on 18 September 2013

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Transcript of PSYA4 addictive behaviour - The cognitive approach lesson 2

PSYA4 The psychology of addictive behaviour The cognitive approach Lesson Objective: To assess how the cognitive approach provides an understanding to addictive behaviour A flaw from the start.... The cognitive approach provides understand for behavioural addictions more so than chemical ones. Cognitive explanations of addiction focuses on FAULTY THINKING processes, particularly during the maintenance phase of addiction. It is assumed that we all have the potential to develop an addiction but the faulty thinking is what allows the addictive behaviour to develop. It is assumed that there are 3 stages of development for addictive behaviour: Initiation stage
Maintenance stage
Relapse stage Faulty Thinking The cognitive approach focuses on the way in which we process information. According to this approach addictive behaviour is the result of 'bad judgements'. With gambling for example, people become consumed with the idea that they will win, despite the odds being stacked against them. Faulty thinking has also been linked to those believe in luck.... Irrational Bias Despite the fact that the odd are weighted strongly in the favour of the gambling operator, gamblers continue to believe that they will win vast amounts of money.

Griffiths (1994) concluded through observation, that gambling is maintained through irrational beliefs. Peoples ability to track how much they have won or lost becomes overestimated as well as their ability to assess how much control they have over the situation (predicting and influencing outcomes) Evaluating the cognitive approach Other factors need to be considered such as level of risk taking and reinforcement frequency
The deeper into an addiction a gambler is the less likely they are able to articulate their thoughs and feelings towards gambling (auto-pilot) suggesting that cognitive process do not play a major role.
Some elements of gambling do require a level of skill to complete eg: slot machines HEURISTICS A term used to describe how gamblers justify their behaviour. Hindsight bias justifies that they know what was going to happen, flexible attribution means that they attribute their winnings to their own skill and losses to 'other' factors. Gamblers only focus on their winnings, ignoring how much they have lost (absolute frequency bias). The gambling industry use heuristics to attract more gamblers by publicising big winners. This gives the impression that there are more winners than losers and plays on a gamblers irrational bias and faulty thinking.
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