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Flashcards in Addiction: Individual Difference Explanation Deck (25):

What are the Individual Differences Explanations of Addiction?

1. Cognitive Bias
2. Addictive Personality Traits


What is Cognitive Bias?

- Focuses on the way people think about a behavior
- If human behavior was rational then we wouldn't become addicted because costs would outweigh the benefits - errors of thinking


What are the Two Main Cognitive Biases?

1. Representativness Bias
2. Availability Bias


Describe Representativness Bias

- Estimate likelihood of an event by comparing it to an existing prototype
- Mind's prototype what we think is most relevant/typical example of event/object
- More likely to overestimate likelihood that something will occur
- Tendency to judge the frequency/likelihood of an event bu the the extent to which it resembles the typical case


What is the Gambler's Fallacy?

- Representitiveness Bias
- The belief that if something happens more frequently than normal it will happen less frequently in the future


Describe the Availability Bias

- Works on the principle that an event is seen as more likely if it's easier to recall from memory
- People make decisions based on how often they hear about something + how available information is rather than actual probability of it occurring
- Encourage people to engage + continue with behavior in the mistaken belief that they are likely to win
- Mistaken belief may have come media reports - make events seem more likely than they are


Describe the Illusion of Control Bias?

- Gamblers falsely believe that it they can control some aspects of the process their chances of winning will be improved
- Example = Choosing a particular seat at a roulette table


Describe the Hindsight Bias?

- Gambler will claim that they're not surprised by outcome + could have predicted what the outcome would be
- Helps to maintain the belief that once their skills have improved they will be able to win consistently


Describe the Self-Serving Bias

- Tendency of gamblers to attribute any wins to internal causes (e.g. own skill) and any losses to external causes (e.g bad luck)
- Helps them to feel it's not their fault if they loose and should continue to gamble


Cognitive Bias Evaluation
Supporting Evidence

- Griffiths (1994) = compared verbaisations of regular gamblers with non-gamblers - evidence showed more irrational verbalisations made by regular. These verbalisations show evidence of cognitive bias
- Joukhador (2003) = Developed a 65 item scale called the Gambling Belief Questionnaire - covers a range of cognitive bias - taken by problem gamblers - the problem gamblers scored higher in almost all different beliefs assessed


Cognitive Bias Evaluation
Research Issues

- Relays on participants to report what they're thinking - creates s range of problems
- Griffiths (1994) = Researchers decide what a bias is being shown - researcher bias
- Questionnaires rely on gamblers being honest in what they're thinking - issues created such as demand characteristics + social desirability


Cognitive Bias Evaluation
Descriptive or Explanation

- Cognitive bias provides a description of thoughts of gamblers rather than an explanation of what causes gambling
- Explanation of behavior should be able to predict what'll happen in certain circumstance - feature of a cognitive bias is that it' s impossible to predict when a particular bias may be used


Cognitive Bias Evaluation
Everyone Exhibits Cognitive Bias

- Cognitive biases found amongst gamblers/non-gamblers/those who gamble but aren't addicted
- Gamblers may have more cognitive bias/apply heuristics inappropriately
- Babsoushkin (2001) = many heuristics are appropriate for everyday situation but not chance events - gamblers fail to recognize this


Applying Cognitive Biases to Modifying Addiction: Cognitive Restructuring

- Clients are taught they have in gambling are irrational
- Griffiths (1994) = Verbalisations - asked gamblers to listen/highlight irrational nature- regular gamblers were surprised at what they heard - suggesting that they find they find it useful in overcoming problems
- Forture + Goodie (2012) = Report that some studies used parts of a broader CBT while others focus on correcting beliefs/biases - both methods have shown some success


Explain Eyesenck's Theory of Personality

- 3 dimensions related to personality upon which personality can be measured
1. Extroversion/Introversion
- Extroverts = sociable/lively/optimistic
- Introverts = reserved/quiet
2. Neuroticism/Stability
- Neurotics = high anxiety/moody/irritable
- Stability = controlled/even tempered
3. Psychoticism/Normality
- Psychoticism = impulsive/impatient/aggressive/creative


How do the Personality Traits Link to Addiction?

- Eyesenck (1997) = resource model of addiction - addiction develops because if fulfills a need relating to individual's personality profile - psychoticism + neuroticism particularly important
- Research shown patterns in score on Eyesenck Personality Questionnaire (EPQ) of addicts
- Gossop + Eyesenck (1980) = 200 drug addicts - found that addicts had higher N+P - people who are moody/irritable/anxious/impulsive/agressve more likely to develop a drug problem


Describe Link Between Psychoticism + Impassivity

- Trait of psychoticism is impassivity
- Addicts act without thinking through consequences
- Impulsiveness was a cause + effect of drug abuse
- Impulsive rats increased cocaine intake than low impulsive rats
- Impassivity can cause problems when individual tries to abstain from addiction
- Stevens (2014) = impulsive individuals less successful in treatment programs - more likely to drop out + less likely to achieve/maintain abstinence


Describe Link between Neuroticism + Self-Medication

- Neurotics use addiction as a form of self-medication to deal with the stress/worry they're experiencing
- Sinha (2001) = highlighted the role of stress in initiation of addiction + risk of relapse when individual tries ti abstain
- If addict is more susceptible to stress they may feel that they need the addiction yo overcome it
- Low self-esteem = trait of neuroticism
- Baumeister (1997) = low self-esteem may lead people to act in manner that is self-defeating in order to escape self-awareness - using addiction to avoid negative feelings about themselves


Describe Link between Extroversion + Addiction

- Gossop + Eyesenck = found that drug addicts had lower extroversion scores
- Blaszczynski replicated original study + found little difference in extroversion scores of gambling addicts + control group


Addictive Personality Traits Evaluation
Establishing Cause + Effect

- Relationship between addiction + personality in mainly correlation
- Personality tests are given once addiction has developed - cause + effect cannot be establish
- Prospective studies support the idea of an addictive personality causing addictive behavior
- Doug (2013) = study in Chinese uni + 2 years given EPQ - researchers found higher N+P linked to addiction - prospective design suggest it was a cause rather than an effect


Addictive Personality Traits Evaluation
Role of Personality Depends on the Addictive Behavior

- McNamera (2010) = found that rats impassivity meant they'd more likely self-administer cocaine but not heroin
- Rozun + Stoss (1993) = looked at individual's tendency to become addicted to range of different actives + couldn't find a common pattern - type of personality involved might depend on the specific addictive behavior being investigated


Addictive Personality Traits Evaluation
Myth of the Addictive Personality

- Numerous traits linked to addiction - makes it difficult to reach conclusion about what is meant by addictive personality - many traits are not unique to addiction
- Eyesenck found high levels of N+P in criminals
- Kerr (1996) = refers to addictive personality myth + suggest that there are many traits typical of most individuals


Addictive Personality Traits Evaluation
Link to Biological Processes

- Many personality characteristics linked to addiction show a clear relationship with dopamine functioning
- Biological + personality interact to lead to addictive behavior
- Buckholtz (2010) = levels of impulsivity in non-addicts and recorded what happened in their brains when given amphetamines - those with greater dopamine releasing response to drug as well as lower receptivity


Addictive Personality Traits Evaluation
Antisocial Personality Disorder

- People with ASPD show a disregard for the rights of others - resulting in them violating social norms
- Tull (2004) = found a significant relationship between dependency,substance abuse + personality symptoms
- 40-50% substance abusers meet the criteria for ASPD
- 90% of those with ASPD have substance use dissorder
- Messina (1999) = ASPD likely to engage in most risky forms of addiction (e.g. needle sharing) + start at a younger age


What are Heuristics?

- Proposed by Kahneman + Tversky in 1973
- Humans have a particular way of approaching decison making + making judgments of probabilities
- Heuristics used when we need to reach decisions quickly + effectively
- Useful in some situations - can lead people to deviating from logical decisions - Cognitive Bias