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Addiction and ChoiceRethinking the relationship$
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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

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Nonconscious motivational influences on cognitive processes in addictive behaviors

Nonconscious motivational influences on cognitive processes in addictive behaviors

Chapter:
(p.259) Chapter 15 Nonconscious motivational influences on cognitive processes in addictive behaviors
Source:
Addiction and Choice
Author(s):

W. Miles Cox

Eric Klinger

Javad S. Fadardi

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198727224.003.0015

This chapter presents the motivational and goal theory of current concerns in relation to addiction and choice. A current concern is an individual’s motivational state from the point of becoming committed to pursuing a particular goal until the goal is reached or the pursuit is relinquished. During this time, the current concern guides the person’s cognitive processes, including attention, memory, thoughts, and dreams. What is true of goals in general is true of the goal of drinking alcohol or using another addictive substance. We hold that the decision to use a substance is voluntary; thus, the choice to use is subject to the person’s conscious control. Nevertheless, implicit processes influence the decision. One of these processes is addiction-related attentional bias. We describe (1) the research on attentional bias and (2) interventions for helping drinkers overcome the attentional and motivational influences on their addictive behavior.

Keywords:   alcohol, addiction, attentional bias, motivational state, current concern, goal theory, motivation

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