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Flashcards in Learning approach to addiction Deck (14):

Gambling: initiation

Operant conditioning – due to things being rewarding, the gambler repeats this behaviour. Griffths (2009) suggested they get physiological, psychological, and social rewards. Due to the cognitive impairments gamblers often have, these rewards are focused on and the costs ignored.


Gambling: maintenance

Intermittent reinforcement – intermittent (occasional) rewards mean they can go a long time with costs because the occasional payout makes it feel worthwhile
Social approval – Lambos (2007) found that peers and family members of gamblers are more likely to approve of gambling. This therefore acts as a reinforcement.


Gambling: relapse

Conditioned cues – addicts associate other factors to gambling through classical conditioning. For example, the sounds of a casino can trigger relapse.
Approach-avoidance conflict – due to the costs and rewards Gamblers will want to both gamble and stop. Their ability to resist the urge depends on their level of control and need for reinforcement.


Gambling: can't explain all forms evaluation

operant conditioning can’t explain all forms of gambling as some behaviours have a shorter time period between the behaviour and consequence, for example scratch cards. Some are also more due to skill than others.operant conditioning can’t explain all forms of gambling as some behaviours have a shorter time period between the behaviour and consequence, for example scratch cards. Some are also more due to skill than others.


Gambling: different pathways evaluation

Blaszczynski et al (2002) created 2 subgroups of gamblers. Gamblers in the ‘behaviourally conditioned’ pathway gamble because of exposure through models or peer groups. These are less severe and more likely to enter treatment. The ‘emotionally vulnerable gambler’ is likely to have a past of struggling to cope making them more severe and resistant to change.


Gambling: why only some people become addicted evaluation

many people gamble at some time in their life and will be rewarded, however it doesn’t explain why only some people become addicted.


Gambling: importance of intermittent reinforcement

there won’t always be a reward, for example gambling wont also pay out and smoking won’t always give a positive mood.


Smoking: initiation

Availability of role models – social learning theory explanations suggests that people begin smoking because of those around then, e.g. experimental smoking in adolescents.
Popularity and a reinforcement – Mayeux (2008) found a positive relationship between smoking at age 16 (boys) and popularity 2 years later


Smoking: maintenance

Sensory associations – Franklin et al (2008) suggested the association with sensory aspects of smoking e.g. the smell, activate the same areas as the brain as nicotine would; bringing the person to smoke again.


Smoking: relapse

Conditioned cues – Hogarth et al (2010) found that craving significantly increased when the individual was presented with a smoking conditioned stimuli.
Refusal self-efficacy – research has found that adults who smoke often have a low self-belief in their ability to stop and are therefore more likely to relapse.


Smoking: role models evaluation

Karcher and Finn (2005) found that youth whose parents smoked were 1.88 more likely to smoke, if their siblings smoked they were 2.64 times more likely, and if close friends did up to 8 times more likely.


Smoking: conditioned cues evaluation

Thewissen et al (2008) presented 33 smokers with a cue predicting smoking, and then showed them a cue predicting smoking unavailability. They found that they have a greater urge to smoke in the first condition.


Smoking: implications for treatment

Drummond et al (1990) proposed a treatment called stimulus discrimination where the conditioned cues are presented without the opportunity to smoke. Therefore the positive association is broken.


Smoking: real-world application

Botvin (2000) proposed resistance training for adolescents as this is when they’re more vulnerable for peer influence. It teaches them to resist drugs and smoking.