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Flashcards in A - Cognitive Model and Approach Deck (11):

What does the cognitive model suggest?

People initiate and maintain addictive behaviour and may relapse into that behaviour because of their (faulty) way of thinking


What does the coping explanation argue?

People may engage in addictive behaviours to cope with stress in their lives
Addiction fulfills several functions - increase positive mood, may make the person more alert (able to perform certain tasks), may serve as a distraction from less pleasant life experiences


What does the expectancy explanation argue?

Addiction is a result of the persons expectations of the outcomes of the behaviours

Addicts have more positive expectations of the effects of a particular behaviour

Expectancies do not have to be accurate either for them to motivate out behaviour, as long as we expect a positive outcome

Research has shown that expectancies can have even more of an influence than the actual effects – might explain why addicts carry on even if the result may not be very rewarding


What does the rational choice theory argue?

Suggests that the pleasure obtained from doing something is calculated by weighing up its costs and benefits

Addicts = current and future benefits of the behaviour outweigh the current and future costs

However, eventually the costs of the activity will outweigh the benefits, this creates an incongruity

Cognitive biases explain why the behaviour continues – addict believes that the benefits of reengaging in the behaviour will outweigh the costs


Apply these explanations to the initiation of smoking

Having a hard time at work, e.g. working long hours – turn to smoking to cope with stress

Expect smoking will reduce stress/believe that it makes them more attractive

Believes benefits (enjoyment) outweigh costs (money spent) – rational choice


Apply these explanations to the maintenance of smoking

Nicotine really does allow a smoker to concentrate for longer without getting bored

Expect stopping will have negative withdrawal symptoms so don’t stop

Feel unable to cope with giving up – this is a cost which outweighs the benefits of giving up


Apply these explanations to the relapse of smoking

Negative feelings associated with withdrawal will mean that the (ex) smoker cannot cope and hence relapses

Believe that they have given up once and hence can do so again – a cognitive bias


Apply these explanations to the initiation of gambling

May provide the gambler with a means of reducing boredom/distraction

See others win = expect they can too

Benefits of gambling outweighs costs


Apply these explanations to the maintenance of gambling

Experience of excitement/occasional win makes them feel good (positive mood)

Occasional win supports these expectations

Regular gamblers believe that they are more skilful than others and hence that they are actually making a rational choice to continue


Apply these explanations to the relapse of gambling

Without gambling, life is dull so they start again

The negative effects of stopping are not physical like for smoking and hence they feel it will be easy to stop again if they decide to


What did contradictory research find?

Many smokers report 'stress relief' as a reasons for continuing with smoking
However, smokers actually have higher average stress levels than non-smokers and their stress levels decline when they stop smoking