Module 5: Psychological Theories of Addiction

Module 5: Key Terms

acute drug administration: refers to a specific administration or dose of a drug (immediate, short-term, one-time)

chronic drug use: refers to repetitive use of a drug over time (longer term, multiple times).

classical conditioning: learning principle related to pairing of stimuli; a previously neutral stimulus (e.g., bell) becomes paired with a naturally potent stimulus (e.g., food) such that it takes on the power to elicit the same response (e.g., Pavolov’s dogs salivating for a bell when it has become paired with food).

cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): a category of intervention approaches that include elements of both cognitive and behavioral theory designed to change thoughts (cognitions) and behaviors that are harming or causing distress to an individual.

craving: intensely compelling physical and/or emotional desire to experience again the effects of a substance (or other behavior) previously used (experienced);

etiology: the origins and causal factors of phenomena like substance use disorders or addiction.

expectancies: cognitions about the likely consequences or outcomes of a behavior/action; our expectations about the likely positive or negative results of using alcohol or another substance form out of observational learning and interactions with the social environment, and have strong influences on our decisions to use, misuse, or not use those substances.

information processing: the way that individuals take in, organizes, stores, and retrieves information.

learning theories: describe the mechanism by which new behaviors are acquired, maintained, and extinguished through interaction/experiences with the environment.

negative reinforcement: operant conditioning consequence that increases probability of repeating the behavior through consequence involving the removal of an experience perceived by the individual as unpleasant (negative).

observational learning: a social learning theory concept describing the mechanism by which behavior modelled by an individual becomes imitated, thus learned, by another individual.

operant conditioning: learning process by which consequences of a behavior shape the pattern of future behavior; reinforcement increases probability of future expression, punishment decreases the probability of repeating the behavior in the future.

positive reinforcement: operant conditioning consequence that increases probability of repeating the behavior through delivery of a consequence experienced by the individual as satisfying, pleasurable (positive).

punishment: operant conditioning consequence that decreases probability of repeating the behavior through delivery of a consequence experienced by the individual as unpleasant or removal of an experience perceived by the individual as satisfying.

self-medication theories: explain a person’s use of substances as resulting from an effort or desire to improve mood, affective, emotional state or reduce physical/emotional pain/discomfort.

social learning theory: an elaboration on learning theory that includes a component where individuals can learn (imitate) others’ behavior and the consequences of those behaviors without first directly exhibiting the behavior or experiencing the consequences themselves.

 

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Module 5: Key Terms by Audrey Begun is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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