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Addiction – Non-Substance Addictions

2. Risk Factors

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About this Lecture


In this lecture, we think about some of the risk factors for developing an addiction, focusing in particular on: (i) biological and genetic factors, including the significant impact of having a first degree relative with an addiction; (ii) the challenge of separating genetic and environmental factors when considering family relationships with addiction vulnerability; (iii) the utility of adoption studies when attempting to disentangle the effects of genes and the environment; (iv) findings from adoption studies which have shown that, even when adopted away from the original family, children who have parents with addictions are more likely to develop addictions themselves; (v) twin studies, specifically monozygotic twin studies, wherein identical twins are separated very early in life, and the potential for these studies to even better differentiate between genetic and environmental influences; (vi) twin study findings, that there are still strong correlations in addiction prevalence when identical twins are separated, indicating a strong genetic influence; (vii) the impact of home and other environments, specifically exposure to role models taking certain substances; (viii) the role of culture and society in addiction prevalence; (ix) individual differences, including personality, which can influence addiction vulnerability; (x) differing brain patterns that have been associated with pleasure between addicted and non-addicted individuals.


In this course, Dr Ashok Jansari (Goldsmiths, University of London) explores non-substance addictions, specifically gambling addiction. In the first lecture, we think about how addiction can be described and defined as a concept. In the second lecture, we think about some of the risk factors for developing an addiction. In the third lecture, we think about how gambling machines use partial variable reinforcement, which can generate an addiction. Next, we think about some of the cognitive biases which can lead to addictive behaviour, including the near miss bias, the recall bias, and the gambler’s fallacy. In the fifth and final lecture, we think about some patterns which arise in the process of overcoming addiction, specifically looking at Prochaska’s six-stage model of behaviour change.


Dr Ashok Jansari is a senior lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Goldsmiths, University of London. Dr Jansari’s research interests include memory disorders, prosopagnosia, executive functions, and synaesthesia. Dr Jansari is most famous for his research into prosopagnosia, having made numerous TV appearances, including on BBC1’s The One Show, as well as hosting his own ‘Neuro Talk’ YouTube channel:

Some of Dr Jansari's recent publications include 'Acquired synaesthesia following 2C-B use' (2019), 'Using virtual reality to investigate multitasking ability in individuals with frontal lobe lesions' (2019), and 'Identification from CCTV: Assessing police super-recogniser ability to spot faces in a crown and susceptibility to change blindness' (2018).

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APA style

Jansari, A. (2022, June 10). Addiction – Non-Substance Addictions - Risk Factors [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Jansari, A. "Addiction – Non-Substance Addictions – Risk Factors." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 10 Jun 2022,

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