Role of Pavlovian and Instrumental Conditioning in Development and Maintenance of Substance Addiction
Roleof Pavlovian and Instrumental Conditioning in Development andMaintenance of Substance Addiction
Pavlovianconditioning is a learning mechanism that encompasses the acquisitionand storage of emotionally important info and the associated changesin behavior. Equally it a method that causes reflex response orbehavior through training and repetitive actions. On the other hand,instrumental or operant conditioning encompass relationship between aresponse and its consequences. Unlike Pavlovian conditioning,instrumental conditioning needs and person to make the responsebefore it can be conditioned thus the concepts of Pavlovian andinstrumental conditioning are applied to the treatment ofpsychological problems such as substance addiction and behavioralmanagement (Wendon & Iver, 2012).
BasicMechanism of Pavlovian Conditioning
Substanceaddiction starts with the development of habits by positivereinforcement thus negative substance reinforcement arise whentolerance appears to develop into positive reinforcement. In thiscase, associative learning and forecast errors signals are crucial:Pavlovian conditioning relies on the inconsistency among the actualand predictable results based on conditioned stimuli as this forecastprocess describe learning and play a role during both acquisition andthe extinction of condition reactions. Likewise, they are determinedby changes in value comparative to the variations between the actualand predicted results (Balsam, Peter & Tomie, 2014).
Central,Peripheral-Physiological and Behavioral Indicators of PavlovianConditioning
Theclassical or Pavlovian studies in humans employ a number ofbehavioral, neural and peripheral-physiological indicators. On theneural level, studies investigating electroencephalographic andmagnetoencephalographic approaches during Pavlovian conditioning haveindicated that stimuli can attain access to favored processes byassociation with an efficient value such as a reward. For example,increased gamma band in the brain sections that receive two types ofstimuli during conditioning have been identified to be involved inassociative learning.
Classicalor Pavlovian Conditioning in Substance Addiction
Forsubstance addiction, some options are available that can weaken thosestimuli associations. For instance, cue exposure therapy treatment ofoptions can be seen as the conditional stimuli that result in cravingand thus relapse behaviors. By frequently exposing someone to thoseindicators without engaging in the real behavior, the signals willlose their meaning. Therapists use Pavlovian conditioning to reduceor remove annoying behavior. Similarly, stimuli that occur justbefore or at the same time are learned stimulus such as a drug maybecome secondary reinforced by association (Everitt, 2016).
Therepeated use of the drug could cause the body to compensate for it inan attempt to counterbalance the effects of equivalent tolerance. Forinstance, if someone drinks alcohol in the car on the way from hometo work, the care and alcohol form a combined association thus thecare signals alcohol is on its way just as the Pavlov demonstrationon classical conditioning. In this case, once the car has beenconverted into a conditional stimulus, the car itself can thereforeinduce powerful desires which are same as substance addiction.
Fortunately,this concept has significant recovery suggestions. Cues contacttherapy is one of the type of addiction management that depends onPavlovian conditioning hence the signals linked with substanceaddiction are assumed to be conditional stimuli. With continuous cueexposure, and without taking part in addictive behavior, the cues areat a risk for relapse. For instance, in aversion treatment, wedeliberately develop a paired relationship among an unwanted conductand nasty experience. Equally, administrating a drug that makesomeone horribly nauseous and vomit if he or she consumes even thesmallest amount of a substance such as alcohol may lead to a negativeresponse.
Itis also termed as operant conditioning. Its concept is based on theproposed Law of Effect which states that the strength of a responseincreases when a “satisfier” promptly follows it. A satisfy issomething or someone who steadily approaches and does nothing toavoid. It is the learning principle that occurs in a cause and effectassociation between a behavior hence when we reward a performance, itincreases and when we punish it decreases. Likewise, substanceaddiction is a learned behavior because the initial pleasure issatisfying making it more addictive.
Conceptsof Operant or Instrumental Conditioning
Reinforcementit is the process of administering a reinforce by experiment. It isthe initial fundamental approach to instrumental conditioninglearning and the reinforcers serve as stimuli to raise the level oflikelihood of the reactions that follow. There are two kinds and theyinclude the negative and positive reinforcers.
Extinctionoperates under the principle of disappearance of a learned responseas a result of the removal of reinforcers from the situation. Forinstance, in Skinner’s trial, the rat might stop pressing thedevice if food serving is stopped. Likewise, generalization anddiscrimination is the occurrence where an organism illustrates asimilar response when reacted to similar stimulus.
Ifthere is an initial and substantial punishment perhaps a therapeuticcomplication, then the addiction might not progress as in severalinstances, punishment for substance addiction occurs much later. Onthe other hand, instrumental conditioning has led to severaleffective treatments such as the idea of rewarding individuals formaking healthier and recovery-based options however research hasillustrated that by satisfying individuals with less valued butdesired things can prolong abstinent days.
Forinstance, the CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training)therapy depends on instrumental conditioning as it stresses theimportance of interpersonal associations thus substance addictionneeds to include the family members and other people who have closerelationships with addicts. Additionally, instrumental conditioninghas proven to be beneficial in the maintenance, treatment, anddevelopment of substance addiction. A lot is based on the learningprinciple that explains why substance addicts initially andcontinuously use and how addiction can be reversed through programsof reward and punishment (Dickinson & Anthony, 2015).
Inconclusion, Pavlovian and instrumental or operant conditioning arelearning principles that concern positive reinforcements andpunishment respectively. These concepts play a very important role insubstance addiction for a number of reasons addressed above thus drugor substance addiction is considered a learned behavior as their useare initially satisfying. Equally, Pavlov demonstrated that exposureto signals is enough to provoke very strong urges that are oftenaccompanied by substance abuse. The observed positive and negativeimpacts of drug addiction vary broadly among individuals thusindividuals can learn new skills by observing others and then tryingthemselves, for instance, many substance abusers learn and copyfriends and parents who also abuses drugs.
Balsam,Peter & Tomie, A. (2014). Context and learning. Psychology Press.
Dickinson& Anthony. (2015). Instrumental conditioning. Encyclopedia ofPsychopharmacology, 823-828.
Everitt,Barry. J & Robbins, T. W. (2016). Drug addiction: updatingactions to habits to compulsions ten years on. Annual review ofpsychology, 67, 23-50.
WendonW.H & Iver H.I (2012). Classical Conditioning and OperantConditioning: A Response Pattern Analysis. SpringerScience & Business Media.
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