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Looking at Addiction as a Decision-Making Disorder
Shahram Heshmat Ph.D.
Fear and anxiety make us narcissistically preoccupied with ourselves.
Denial is central to explaining why people continue using despite evidence of harmful consequences.
Several factors impair the balance between goal-directed and habitual behavior so that habitual behavior can no longer be kept in check by goal-directed decision mode.
There is increasing evidence that the aesthetic pleasure from art and music is no different in origin and function from the pleasure provided by food, drugs, and sex.
Artful living means taking a genuine interest in all details of daily life.
An interesting or happy life might also be regarded as a creative "work of art."
We typically feel more warmly toward things we encounter again and again.
Creating suspension is one of the most efficient ways of sustaining attention and eliminating distraction.
The emotion of surprise is an important key factor that encourages interest and motivates our curiosity.
Music has the ability to evoke powerful emotional responses in listeners — and this capacity is virtually universal. Here's why music has such a profound effect on the human brain.
If you want to truly accomplish something, it takes more than just setting goals.
Our minds are designed to see the world as it is right now, rather than from the point of view of the people we are going to become.
Compulsive Buying Disorder (CBD) is similar to behavioral addiction, such as binge eating and gambling.
Indulging in the desired future ignores possible obstacles and therefore masks the necessity to act.
The belief that there is no such thing as free will leads people to stop exercising it.
Young people think of their future selves in the same way that they think of strangers.
Good statistical thinking can improve our logical and problem-solving skills.
We are motivated to avoid losses than to pursue comparable gains.
It is not what we are feeling that is important but how we relate to it that matters.
One of the major goals of drug addiction treatment is to teach addicts how to deal with cravings.
A behavioral economic perspective views addiction as a consequence of falling victim to decision failures, which lead to a preference for the addictive behavior.
An important way to enhance self-control is to use our emotions to achieve challenging goals.
When we learn how and why we are vulnerable, we can develop practices that can help us improve our financial well-being.
Our ability to manage the flow of thought and emotion contributes to our happiness.
Consumers are powerfully influenced by their emotions and environmental cues, as well as by how options are presented to them.
Vulnerability to addiction can be explained by considering multilevel factors from the molecular to the societal.
Causal and counterfactual reasoning inform our judgments of causality.
Decision failures could explain why addicts pursue and consume drugs even in the face of negative consequences.
The mental contrasting strategy has four steps: wish, outcome, obstacle, and plan.
The more we disregard our longer-term interests in favor of immediate gratification, the more likely that we will have a range of behavioral problems, including addiction.
Shahram Heshmat, Ph.D., is an associate professor emeritus of health economics of addiction at the University of Illinois at Springfield.