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Researchers Explore Motivation and Cognition in Addiction

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Read about the latest insights on addiction from Perspectives on Psychological Science and Clinical Psychological Science.

Motivation and Self-Regulation in Addiction: A Call for Convergence

Cătălina E. Köpetz, Carl W. Lejuez, Reinout W. Wiers, and Arie W. Kruglanski

Although motivation and motivational constructs often play a central role in theories of addiction, these theories have often examined motivation as an explanation only for initiating and maintaining addictive behavior. As a result, they have overlooked the commonalities between addiction and other motivated behavior. Addiction may actually be a specific type of motivated behavior, and as such, the principles that apply to the regulation of motivated behavior in general should also apply to addictive behavior. The commonalities between drug use and motivated behavior may help explain the initiation of, maintenance of, and attempts to control substance use.

Cognitive Bias Modification and Cognitive Control Training in Addiction and Related Psychopathology: Mechanisms, Clinical Perspectives, and Ways Forward

Reinout W. Wiers, Thomas E. Gladwin, Wilhelm Hofmann, Elske Salemink, and K. Richard Ridderinkhof

Dual-process models suggest that behavior is a product of two distinct processes: one that is automatic and impulsive, and one that is controlled and reflective. Research into the treatment of addiction and its related psychopathologies has seen a recent surge in the creation and utilization of dual-process models. Training interventions in this area have sought to influence disorder-specific impulsive processes through cognitive bias modification and to affect controlled processes through working memory training. Wiers and colleagues review dual-process models of addiction and evidence supporting them. They discuss training manipulations associated with automatic and controlled processes, as well as criticisms of dual-process models and future directions for research.