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Flashcards in Biological explanations for addiction Deck (13):

Gambling: what are the three symptoms of a gambling addiction?

Loss of control
Progressive increase over time
Continue despite negative repercussions


Gambling: initiation

Role of genetics - Black et al (2006) found first degree relatives were more likely to suffer gambling than distant relatives


Gambling: maintenance

Pituitary-adrenal response - Paris et al (2010) measured gamblers cortisol levels before and after watching a video of a neutral stimuli and gambling. Recreational gamblers showed a significant increase, pathological gamblers showed no change.
Sensation seeking - Zuckerman (1979) suggested gamblers are more likely to be high-sensation seekers as they have a lower appreciation of risk and anticipate arousal as more positive


Gambling: relapse

Boredom avoidance - Blaszczynski et al (1990) found gamblers had significantly higher boredom scores than a control group of non-gamblers


Gambling: individual differences evaluation

Diathesis stress model - it may explain why some people develop a gambling addiction when others don't. It may also explain why some people are prone to relapse or resistant to treatments


Gambling: limitations evaluation

It doesn't explain why some gambling is more addictive than others. Breen and Zimmerman (2001) found video gambling addiction took around 1 year whereas horse racing and sports took 3 and a half


Gambling: sensation seeking evaluation

Bonnaire et al (2006) tested 2 groups of French gamblers, one who played games in cafés and one who bet on horses. The race track betters were high sensation seekers compared to the café group. From this they created 2 subgroups of gamblers: those who play active games (horse racing) to get arousal, and those who play passive games (café) to avoid unpleasant emotions e.g. boredom.


Smoking: initiation

Role of genetics - family and twin studies have estimated the heritability of smoking to be between 39% and 80%. Vink et al (2005) studied 1572 Dutch twin pairs and found differences in smoking were explained by genetic (44%) and environmental (54%)


Smoking: maintenance

Effects of nicotine - Vink eta l reported that nicotine dependence was influenced primarily by genetic (75%) factors. This suggests dependence is due to individual differences in nicotine metabolism. Nicotine affects nAchRs in the brain; releasing dopamine. This creates a short-term feeling of pleasure, before mood and concentration drop again. This causes the individual to repeat the cycle to avoid withdrawal symptoms.
Pre- natal exposure - Buka et al (2003) also found pre-natal exposure to nicotine can cause addiction


Smoking: relapse

Xian et al (2003) with a twin study found that 54% of quit failure is due to heritability. Research has attempted to identify the specific gene cluster which is associated with quitting success


Smoking: research evidence evaluation

Thorgeirsson et al (2008) identified a specific gene variant on chromosome 15 that influenced the number of cigarettes someone smoked per day, nicotine dependence, and likelihood of developing related illness. Those who smoked less than 10 a day had this variant.


Smoking: limitations evaluation

Neglect other factors, e.g. social context


Smoking: implications for treatment evaluation

Genomic medicines involve screening clients to see if they have genes which increase their susceptibility to addictions. These individuals can therefore be advised or given treatment early. However this isn't fully successful yet.