Cognitive explanation of gambling AO2


Cognitive explanation of smomking AO2 : evidence

Griffiths (1994) set out to discover whether regular gamblers thought and behaved differently to non regular gamblers. He compared 30 regular and 30 non regular gamblers in terms of verbalisation s they played on a fruit machine. Regular gamblers believed they were more skillful that they actually were, and were more likely to make irrational verbalisations during play. They also explined away their losses by seeing 'near misses' and 'near wins', something that justified their coninuation with the gambling behaviour. This research supports the ideas that gamblers develop irrational cognitive biases about their addictive behaviour and can explain why gamblers continue to gamble. 

Toneatto (1999) - conducted a meta analysis of research into the field of cognition and gambling and found that typical cognitive distortions in gamblers included; superstitious beliefs, selective memory, the illusion of control over luck and magnification of their own gambling skills. This supports the cognitive approach to gambling as it indicated that there are many false beliefs associated with addiction to gambling and these false beliefs are dysfunctional. 

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Cognitive explanation of smomking AO2 : evaluation

Supporting points

. can explain individual differences - people may engage in same activity but addicition only occurs in some people. Cognitive approach can account for these differences, those who develop faulty cognitive biases may be more likely to develop an addicition. 

. implications for treatment- Evidence that there is more than ine motivation for addictive behaviours, therefore should be differing approaches to their treatment - can aid treatment of smoking/ gambling addicts. e.g. if self medicating addicts, more beneficial to trear underlying problems first before attempting to get them to quit the addicition. If addicition is due to irrational beliefs then maybe cognitive treatments would be more appropraite in hope to correct the cognitive errors. 


Problems of  cause and effect- It has been suggested that psychological symptoms come before addictive behaviour. However it could be that medical/ social/ financial costs of the addicitive behaviour led to the depression. In other words which came first?

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