Addiction as vulnerabilities in the decision process

Behavioral and Brain Sciences 31 (4):461-487 (2008)
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In our target article, we proposed that addiction could be envisioned as misperformance of a decision-making machinery described by two systems (deliberative and habit systems). Several commentators have argued that Pavlovian learning also produces actions. We agree and note that Pavlovian action-selection will provide several additional vulnerabilities. Several commentators have suggested that addiction arises from sociological parameters. We note in our response how sociological effects can change decision-making variables to provide additional vulnerabilities. Commentators generally have agreed that our theory provides a framework within which to site addiction and treatment, but additional work will be needed to determine whether our taxonomy will help identify and treat subpopulations within the addicted community.



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Steven Jensen
University of St. Thomas, Texas

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