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Is the concept of compulsion useful in the explanation or description of addictive behavior and experience?

About the Course:

The concept of compulsion, in which addictive behavior is not a voluntary behavior, is central to the neurobiological theories that have become popular as disease theory of addiction are ubiquitous in modern definitions. The aims of this article are: (I) to describe various meanings of compulsion in the literature; (ii) to compare the part thought to be played by compulsion in addiction with its suggested role in obsessive-compulsive disorder; (iii) to critically examine the place of compulsion in influential neurobiological accounts of addiction; (iv) to summarize the empirical evidence bearing on the usefulness of the compulsion concept, evidence that seems at first sight incompatible with the notion of compulsion. This is followed by a discussion of which possible meanings of compulsion can survive an empirical test and what role they might play in understanding addiction, paying particular attention to a distinction between strong and weak senses of compulsion.

Publication Date:

May 18, 2017

Course Material Author

Nick Heather, PhD.

Dr. Heather is a clinical psychologist and Emeritus Professor of Alcohol & Other Drug Studies at Northumbria University. His research focused on brief intervention techniques to reduce alcohol misuse, and he has challenged the disease theory of alcoholism. He has over five hundred research publications and books.

Recommended For:

Counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychologists and social workers. This course is appropriate for all levels of knowledge.

Course Objectives:

  1. Acknowledge the various definitions researchers use for compulsion.

  2. Identify the numerous studies and theories of addiction.

  3. Realize compulsion is not universal, nor is it of the same type found in other disorders like OCD.

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Course Material

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Categorized in:

Course Number 102456
4 credit hours
  • Online Article
Exam Fee: $27.88No exam fee with a Plus or Unlimited membership package!
4.5 out of 5
171 members have taken this course