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Flashcards in Addiction: Social Psychological Explanation Deck (24):

What are the Social Psychological Explanations of Addiction?

1. Peer Influence
2. Role of the Media


Who Proposed the Social Learning Theory?

- Bandura (1977/86)


Describe the Social Learning Theory

- Emphasizes the role of social factor on behavior
- Behavioral approach - learning through reinforcement
- Includes indirect reinforcement
- Known as SLT because you can learn indirectly through other's behavior


How is the Learner Motivated?

1. Observing a Role Model (watching someone who you identify with + adrenaline
2. Vicarious Reinforcement (role model reinforced in behavior the individual anticipates similar outcome + rewards for themselves)


Apply SLT to Addictive Behavior. (Smoking)

- Individual sees their peers smoking
- Peers might be people they look up to (Role Models)
- Peers are being rewarded through having a higher social status + seen to be enjoying it
- Therefore individual engages in behavior


What are Social Norms?

- Rules of behavior that are consided acceptable within particular social groups
- Perceptions of norms among peer groups can effect an individual's behavior


What Examples of Social Norms?

1. Descriptive Norms
2. Injunctive Norms


Describe Descriptive Norms

- An individual's perception of how much others engage in behavior


Describe Injunctive Norms

- What an individuals perceives as other's approval of their behavior


Apply Social Norms to Addiction (Alcohol)

- Perkins + Berkowitz (1986)
- High proportion of students believed being intoxicated was only acceptable in limited circumstances
- High proportion believed it was acceptable
- Individuals act in way they think group is acting
- See no need to reduce their consumption as they think that everyone else is doing it more then they are

- Students overestimate descriptive + injunctive norms - believe that peers are drinking more alcohol + that it's more socially acceptable


Peer Influence Evaluation
Research Evidence

- Simons-Mortant + Fachat (2010) = reviewed 40 prospective studies into relationship peers + smoking - found that all but one showed a positive correlation
- Research supports link between behavior of peers + engagement in addictive behavior - prospective studies provide stronger evidence of a causal relationship


Peer Influence Evaluation
Peer Influence or Peer Selection

- Key problem with research is whether peer influence the individuals to engage in behavior or whether individual chooses friends as they also engage in behavior
- Ennett + Bauman (1994) = participants who didn't smoke at start of study + who had friends who smoked were more likely to smoke at follow up
- Evidence suggests individual had changed membership of friendship groups in line with their (non)smoking friends


Peer Influence Evaluation
Perceived Social Norms

- Neighbors (2007) = number of factors related to alcohol consumption + found descriptive + injunctive norms were the best predictors of alcohol consumption amougst college students - supports idea peer influence engagement in addictive behavior
- Not best predictor of alcohol problems (e.g. Drink driving) - peers may influence to engage in addictive behavior but other factors may be more important in influencing whether individuals becomes addicted


Peer Influence Evaluation
Methodological Issues

- Majority of research in this area involves self report + correctional research - both have issues associated
- Defining a peer relationship is very difficult - friend groups change over time + people associated with different people for different activities
- Students are more accurate in their perception of their best friend's drinking habits then they are of others - peer influence = too broad
- Difficult to conduct experimental studies on humans - impossible to manipulate who an individual are friends with
- Smith (2012) = rats more likely to self-administer cocaine when they're with another rat who has also got access to cocaine compared with a rat that was present but who didn't have access to cocaine


Applying Peer Influence to Modifying Addiction - Social Norms Marketing

- Aims to change student's perception of their peer's drinking habits through use of mass media marketing
- Adverts focus on providing statistics about how much teenagers typically drink
- Gives students more accurate information that will help combat the overestimation of social norms
- Results were mixed but remains popular in USA
- Moore (2013) = trail across Welsh Unis by using beer mats/leaflets/posters displaying information targeting both descriptive + injuctive norms
- Students who could recall the materials reported lower perceived norms - effects on alcohol consumption was unclear


How does the Social Learning Theory Apply to the Media?

- Film star/celebrity/character acts as a role model + the vicarious reinforcement
- Need to consider how the media portrays addictive behaviour + whether or not this exposure has an effect


How does the Media Expose People to Addictive Behaviours?

- Smoking + alcohol is very common in films + television
- Lyons (2013) = alcohol was seen in 86% of popular UK films + in 40% of TV programmes
- Glantz (2002) = compared smoking seen in films from 1950-1982 - found a decrease 1950-1982 - increases again up to similar levels seen in 1950


Describe How Vicarious Reinforcement Applies to the Role of the Media

- Behaviour are seen both more frequently + in a positive light
- Gunasekera (2005) = 87/200 top films in the past 20 years using content analysis - tobacco + alcohol use was most common
- Addiction portrayed positively + without negative consequences - provides vicarious reinforcement


Describe the Exposure Effect in the Role of Media

- Wellman (2006) = How exposure to tobacco advertising + use of tobacco in films influenced children's attitudes to smoking - exposure t marketing + media promoting smoking increased positive attitudes - doubled chances of starting smoking
- Hanewinkel (2014) = teenagers from a range of European cultures who never wanted to drink alcohol - results from a follow up 12 months later :
- 40% tried alcohol
- 9% engaged in binge drinking


Explain the Correlation Between Gambling, Addiction + Media Influence

- Increase in gambling advertising may contribute to gambling addiction by introducing individuals to gambling/ triggering a relapse
- Dervesky (2012) = teenagers who already gamble are more likely influenced by advertising + when the adverts promotes gambling as a glamorous + social activity where winning is easy - increase in gambling advertising is a relatively recent development may be some time until the effects are fully seen.


Role of the Media Evaluation
Difficulty Establishing a Causal Link

- Majority of research into media + addiction is correlational - cause + effect cannot be established
- May not be the media causing the addiction but friend/family influence in what’s viewed
- Pechmann + Shih (1999) = used experimental method to assess the effect of smoking portray attitudes to smoking. They used 2 versions of same film. V1 contained smoking V2 didn’t. Those who saw V1 reported to have more positive attitudes towards smoking + increased personal intentions to smoke


Role of the Media Evaluation
Lack of Population Validity

- Adolescents are too susceptible to social influence + therefore the effects are easily detected
- Effects may be different in adults
- However - Jamison + Bomber (2011) = results in adults are very similar


Role of the Media Evaluation
Adolescents View of the Media

- Atkinson (2011) = acknowledge that drinking alcohol was often seen as glamorous - adolescents interviewed were aware that images of people were exaggerated for effect


Role of the Media Evaluation
The Media can have a Positive Effect

- Contribute to reduction of addictive behaviour
- Pechmann - effects of showing film were cancelled out by showing an anti-smoking advert before film