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Cognitive Explanations of Addiction.

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Introduction

Cognitive Explanations of Addiction. (25) The cognitive approach states that negative behaviour is caused by faulty thought processes by the person. It focuses more on why the behaviour started and more specifically why a person may come to rely on a drug or behaviour when in some cases using the drug can cause more harm than dealing with the problems they are trying to hide from. In areas it also over laps with the behavioural approach as the cognitive behavioural; here it concedes that faulty thinking can be learnt often through vicarious learning. There are three main theories contained within the cognitive model these are; the self medication model, the rational choice theory and the expectancy theory. In 2002 Gelkopf developed the self medication model; this states that individuals use drugs to treat psychological problems. He also said that the drug a person took what carefully chosen, for example a person smoking to relieve stress or anxiety. Smokers then persist in their behaviour because they have the impression that the drug, cigarettes, are working. ...read more.

Middle

As this is a collection of studies it is more likely to be reliable as all the results are consistent and it will contain a large sample. It is also a recent study conducted in 2008 which means that it is still relevant and applicable to today's society. Sanjuan's 2009 study supports the self medication model; he found that women who had been sexually abused were more likely to use drugs or alcohol to relieve inhibitions before sex than those who had not been sexually abused. The self medication model also states that drugs are chosen for their affect on an individual, this disregards the theory that gateway drugs such as cannabis lead to harder addictions such as heroin. The self medication model is highly reductionist as it does not take into account any other theories or models for example it discredits totally the dopamine hypothesis, saying that addiction is purely disordered thinking. Cause and effect can also be debated with this model as it is difficult to explain why an addictive behaviour has been initiated when no major psychological problems are present, however this could be argued as ...read more.

Conclusion

The nature side of the nurture debate is This theory is supported by the fact that some users are able to one day stop taking drugs all together, when they realise the utility has fallen; but fails to encompass those who want to stop their behaviour but are unable for some reason. According to this theory making a drug illegal should decrease the utility and so prevent many people from using, this clearly is not the case as there is still a high number of users. This theory cannot fully apply to gambling as the costs outweigh the benefits, however this again is a subjective opinion as the 'rush' they get from gambling may be enough and it may not all be about the financial benefits. The Rational Choice theory is again disproved as in the Netherlands 9.7% of young adults, 15 to 14 consume cannabis once a month, comparable to 15.8% in the UK; surely where cannabis is legal in the Netherlands use should be higher as its utility is higher. This however is ethnocentric and so ungeneralizable to all and does not take into account the different attitudes towards drugs held in the Netherlands. ...read more.

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