While reading Chapter 5, I thought that the section on "Drugs and Consciousness" proved very interesting, especially the portion on confirming if or if not there is such a thing as an addictive personality. While on page 188, the authors said "there's no single addictive personality profile," they also said "researchers have found that certain personality traits predispose to alcohol and drug abuse" (188). I thought I would look deeper into this topic to see what various researchers have come up with.
In an article published by the New York Times called "The Addictive Personality: Common Traits are Found," the author, Bryce Nelson brings up many intriguing points. The first insight that he brought up was the fact that many mental health experts think that is is beneficial to look at all ends of the spectrum when it comes to addictions. All self-destructive behaviors should be examined, including overeating, compulsive television-watching, and the more prominent addictions such as drug and alcohol abuse. The overarching argument of the article, though, is similar to that of the textbook. "There is no single set of psychological characteristics that embrace all addicitons," the National Academy of Sciences concludes, "but the study does see common elements from addiction to addiction."
A few of the common elements attributing to addictive actions are impulsive behavior, an antisocial personality, a weak committment to goals that are considered valuable to society, a general tolerance for deviance, a sense of heightened stress and many more. While this brings up the scientific thinking principle of "correlation versus causation." Are these factors causing addictive behavior, is the addiction itself causing the people to attain these traits or is there another underlying variable? This subject is tricky, but as the article continues on, Alan R. Lang, a psychology professor at Florida State argues that discovering the personality characteristics that take part in developing these addictions is essential to treating them.
The following article is some information about various addictive personality disorders, ranging from diagnosis to treatment. Article 1.pdf
By: Kylie Schermann