Tips for answering the revision questions: Chapter 15

Tips for answering the revision questions:
Chapter 15,
The Psychology of Addictive Behaviour
(A2 Level Psychology page 647)
Question 1
a) This question is really asking you what the point is of empirical research. What
are the problems with anecdotal stories? So, you need to explain the importance of
replication, validation, and peer reviewing, and how reliable a mass of empirical
research is compared with personal stories, especially when committing to a costly
health programme.
b) Firstly, explain the basis of the cognitive model in terms of information
processing. Then focus on the maladaptive (i.e. erroneous or irrational beliefs)
which underpin addictive behaviour in the cognitive model. You could give
examples of the heuristics and maladaptive beliefs which could cause the initiation
and maintenance of, and relapse back into, addictive behaviours, using research
studies to support your arguments.
c) “Individual differences” is a key concept in psychology, and here you can explain
individual factors such as genetic background, other biological factors, differences in
self esteem, attributional style, cognitions, “addictive personality”, family and social
context, and the current personal situation (e.g. current level of stress, financial
difficulties). Wherever possible, include some research studies or reference to
relevant psychological approaches.
Question 2
a) The term “include” means you must discuss these two theories. Therefore you
need an outline description and explanation of each, with its theoretical base, and
the research studies which may support or challenge it. You can, of course, add in an
extra theory if you have time, and treat/discuss it in the same way.
b) Here you are given some suggestions, and you can pick from the list or choose
others that are not mentioned. However, as you are asked to deal with types (plural)
of intervention, you need at least two types. You should think about relating this to
the “two-pronged approach” in the introductory sentence. You need to describe and
explain each treatment type, pointing out the complex nature of addiction and
therefore the complex combination of likely helpful treatments, as well as the
evaluation from, for example, WHO.
Question 3
You have a wide choice here for your two models. There are the biological, cognitive,
and learning models, but there are also the personal factors model, and the
biopsychosocial model. Briefly describe your chosen models, explain them clearly,
what theory they are based on, and how valid this is when applied to
smoking/gambling addiction. Then explain how they relate to the initiation,
maintenance, and relapse of the addiction, and assess the validity of this
explanation. What studies have been done that support and which studies challenge
this explanation? Elaborate on how they support, how they challenge, and the
reasons for this. Compare these explanations with alternative ones.