Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Addiction and ChoiceRethinking the relationship$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Nick Heather and Gabriel Segal

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198727224

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198727224.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 31 October 2020

Palpating the elephant

Palpating the elephant

Current theories of addiction in light of hyperbolic delay discounting

Chapter:
(p.227) Chapter 13 Palpating the elephant
Source:
Addiction and Choice
Author(s):

George Ainslie

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198727224.003.0013

Addiction appears to contradict expected utility theory and has therefore been the subject of many re-examinations of motivation. It is variously said to arise from and/or be maintained by conditioning, habit learning (as distinct from the goal-directed kind), the elicitation of counterfeit reward in the midbrain, accelerated delay discounting, hyperbolic delay discounting, and unspecified sorts of disease or compulsion that imply addiction is not motivated at all. Each of these models has some roots in observation but each has problems, particularly in accounting for addictions that do not need a neurophysiologically active agent, such as gambling or videogames. An implication of hyperbolic delay discounting—recursive self-prediction—adds necessary mechanisms for addiction within a motivational framework. An addict’s “force of habit” may be motivated by what amounts to accumulated consumption capital within an endogenous reward process. In a recursive motivational model the addict’s impaired responsibility is more like bankruptcy than disease.

Keywords:   expected utility theory, habit learning, hyperbolic delay discounting, responsibility, recursive self-prediction

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .