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Learning models of addiction (AO1-3)

Clare Schulze

on 8 February 2016

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Transcript of PSYA4 - LEARNING MODEL

Addiction - Learning Explanation

Once addiction established – withdrawal symptoms appear if drug not taken
Any behaviour that reduces these withdrawal symptoms will act as a Negative reinforcer – so the addict continues to take the drug
This also explains why so many addicts relapse
Classical Conditioning
Social Learning Theory
Initiation and positive reinforcement.
All positive reinforcers have the SAME effect: they release dopamine in the mesolimbic system.
Natural reinforcers are food, drink, and sex. Predictably addictive drugs have the same effect e.g. amphetamines, cocaine, opiates, nicotine and alcohol (White 1996).
Griffiths (2009) sites gambling as being addictive, the adrenaline when winning or the near miss, social rewards through adulation and the obvious financial rewards.
Observation or direct experience of positive outcome of drug taking.

Addict learns about consequences of drug-taking directly or indirectly by observation
Evaluation Of Learning Models

Maintenance and Relapse

If an alcoholic passes a pub where people are drinking outside, they may experience a physiological response to the smell/sight of alcohol as well as memories of drinking etc....
Marlatt and George (1984) suggest the presence of multiple cues trigger positive memories and the likelihood of relapse.
Self efficacy: has been shown in Lin’s (2008) study that internet addiction can be effectively controlled if the addict believes they have a high level of self efficacy.
Already set!

half term will be all abou getting revision ready for PS4

What does Anthony the Addict have to say about the learning explanation....
Learning theorists explain addictive behaviour without involving any
conscious evaluation of the costs or benefits of a particular activity
Individuals typically learn to perform behaviours because they are associated with the onset of something pleasant (e.g. feelings of euphoria) or the termination of something unpleasant (e.g. feelings of depression or tension).
Operant conditioning = Learning by consequences (reward & punishment)
Initiation= through positive re-inforcement- do something because it feels good.
Maintenance= through negative re-enforcement-do something to get rid of bad feelings.
What is classical conditioning
Brings together both classical and operant and extends them looking at observation and communication. People look to role models as guides on how to behave.
This approach takes into account cognitive factors as well as the fact that we may learn from our peers, family and friends.
In classical conditioning, stimuli that precede, or occur at the same time as a learned stimulus (such as a drug) may become secondary reinforcers, deriving their influence only by association. For example, research has shown that alcohol related stimuli (e.g. sights and sounds of a pub) elicit the many of the same physiological responses as alcohol itself, such as increased heart rate and arousal (Glautier et al,1991).
Initiation: secondary reinforcers are those things that precede or occur at the same time as the drug itself.

Glautier et al (1991) found the sights and smells of a pub elicited the similar physiological responses as alcohol.

Maintenance and relapse: maintenance is continued through threat of withdrawal.

Put simply -
Initiation - initial rewards can shape later behaviour (highest susceptibility to addiction here)
Maintenance - continued rewards cause behaviour to continue (positive reinforcement) or people do not want withdrawal symptoms (punishment)
Relapse - if they unlearned their behaviour this is less likely.

In classical conditioning terms, the drug effect is an unconditioned stimulus, which challenges the internal regulation of the body (West, 2006). The body’s defensive response to this challenge is an unconditioned response as it tries to restore equilibrium. Any stimulus that precedes a drug dose (e.g. environmental factors) becomes a conditioned stimulus, leading to a compensatory conditioned response from the body in anticipation of the effects of the drug. Conditioned responses that occur in the absence of the anticipated drug effect put the body into a state of disequilibrium, which the individual experiences as withdrawal symptoms, and thus they are motivated to take the drug again to alleviate the symptoms.
Addiction to drugs begins through operant conditioning, as the user learns about the actual consequences of drug taking.
Any positive consequences, whether they are experienced directly or vicariously through the observation of others, will result in repeated drug use.
However, some drug taking experiences lead to adverse effects for the individual or are witnessed in others.
The experience of a negative event following drug taking decreases the likelihood of the experience being repeated in the future.
Individuals begin to recognise that different classes of drugs have different types of effect, and therefore arouse different ‘outcome expectations’ and thus trigger motivation to use particular types of drugs.

Can you decide which AO3 point refer to which theory?
Preparing for PS4
Wk beginning - 7th March
PSYA3 - EB & Agg
PSYA4 - Sz, Addiction & RM
How you are going to prepare for this is how you need to prepare for your final exams
Preparing for PS4 - Be revision ready by the end of Half term
1. Specification & R.A.G rate
2. Check you have revision cards/posters etc for each topic in the specification - tick or cross
- If you haven't then make cards etc for the topic
3. Now you have RAG rated your specification, work out how many hours you need to revise.
- Note that this is revision, NOT preparing for revision!
Green = 30-45 mins
Amber = 1 hour
Red = 2 hours
4. Plan two weeks at a time.
You may need to go back and re-revise a topic
4 1/2 weeks until PS4
Example of how to apply this revision model
Genetics of aggression
1. Check you are revision ready
2. Use the model essay plan
3. Recalling the plan from the card IS not effective revision for PSYA3
4. Choose a paragraph - test your self by writing it out. look back at the model essay - what did you miss - do it again
5. Refer to the mark schemes and ER - is there anything you can learn?
PS4 review
1. 2 minute review
2. Complete revision based on this model
Application to harder exam questions!
Public health campaigns aim to stop people becoming addicted in the first place because once a person starts it is very difficult to stop.
Discuss reasons why relapse occurs in people with addictive behaviour (5 + 5)
A group of friends all decide to give up smoking. After 6 months three of them have not had a cigarette but the other two have relapsed.
Explain why some of them have been successful whereas others haven't (8)
Full transcript