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Addiction as a functional representation

Davies, John B. and Heim, Derek and Cheyne, Bill and Smallwood, Jonathan (2001) Addiction as a functional representation. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 11 (1). pp. 57-62. ISSN 1052-9284

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Abstract

This study examined how perceptions of the addicted state vary as a function of social conditions, personal circumstances and type of substance. University students (n = 144) were presented with portrayals of drug users in which sex, drug type and social setting were varied. A questionnaire determined the degree to which participants thought that the person portrayed was (i) addicted, (ii) prone to use drugs due to his/her personality, and (iii) perceived as a problem to society. The pattern of results fitted a functional model of the addiction concept rather than an attempt to describe an objective state.