The current dominant perspective on addiction as a brain disease has been challenged recently by Marc Lewis, who argued that the brain-changes related to addiction are similar to everyday changes of the brain. From this alternative perspective, addictions are bad habits that can be broken, provided that people are motivated to change. In that case, autonomous choice or “free will” can overcome bad influences from genes and or environments and brain-changes related to addiction. Even though we concur with Lewis that (...) there are issues with the brain disease perspective, we also argue that pointing to black swans can be important, that is: there can be severe cases where addiction indeed tips over into the category of brain disease, but obviously that does not prove that every case of addiction falls into the disease category, that all swans are black. We argue that, for example, people suffering from Korsakoff’s syndrome, can be described as having a brain disease, often caused by alcohol addiction. Moreover, the brain changes occurring with addiction are related to choice-behaviour, habit formation and insight, hence essential mental abilities to break the addiction. We argue for a more graded perspective, where both black swans and white swans are rare, and most cases of addiction come as geese in different shades of gray. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThis is the first study to investigate multiple cognitive biases in adolescence simultaneously, to examine whether anxiety and depression are associated with biases in attention and interpretation, and whether these biases are able to predict unique variance in self-reported levels of anxiety and depression. A total of 681 adolescents performed a Dot Probe Task, an Emotional Visual Search Task, and an Interpretation Recognition Task. Attention and interpretation biases were significantly correlated with anxiety. Mixed results were reported with regard to depression: (...) evidence was found for an interpretation bias, and for an attention bias as measured with the EVST but not with the DPT. Furthermore, interpretation and attention biases predicted unique variance in anxiety and depression scores. These results indicate that attention and interpretation biases are unique processes in anxiety and depression. They also suggest that anxiety and depression are partly based on similar underlying... (shrink)
The model of addiction proposed by Redish et al. shows a lack of fit with recent data and models in psychological studies of addiction. In these dual process models, relatively automatic appetitive processes are distinguished from explicit goal-directed expectancies and motives, whereas these are all grouped together in the planning system in the Redish et al. model. Implications are discussed.