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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 18 October 2021



The pleasures and perils of operant behavior

(p.49) Chapter 3 Addiction
Addiction and Choice

Bennett Foddy

Oxford University Press

This chapter compares the epidemiological and neuroscientific data on different addictions and addiction-like syndromes, from drug addiction to binge-eating disorders, gambling, and videogame addiction. It considers the various neurological and behavioral differences that can seem to differentiate these different behavioral syndromes, and it argues that these differences are not essential to the underlying behavioral condition that unifies various “addictive” behaviors. Based on these data, it is argued that there is a hazard inherent in any rewarding operant behavior, no matter how apparently benign: that we may become genuinely “addicted” to any behavior that provides operant reward. With this in mind, addiction is rightly seen as a possibility for any human being, not a product of the particular pharmacological or technological properties of any one particular substance or behavior.

Keywords:   addiction, drug addiction, gambling, binge-eating disorder, videogame addiction, gaming

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