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Thursday, February 24, 2011

The Cognitive Underpinnings of Addiction

A new conditional reasoning measure was developed to evaluate the role of implicit biases in perpetuating addictive behavior. Data (N = 669) were collected in 2005 from two samples in a suburban area: individuals with a known history of chemical dependency and individuals from the general population.

Results indicated a strong correlation between overall test scores and group membership (rpb = .48), which increased when the groups’ demographic characteristics were equalized (rpb = .65).

Overall, findings suggest that addiction-prone individuals rely on a distinct set of cognitive biases that rationalize self-destructive behavior.

The study's limitations are noted and implications and directions for future research are discussed.

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