Alcohol Essay Example


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Alcohol Essay Example

Alcohol Essay: Introduction

Psychological theories explain how certain kinds of substances can be addictive. These theories can be listed under one main category known as psychosocial theory (McGee, 2019). The most well-known and prominent theory is learning theory. Learning theory includes classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and modeling (Strickland, 2001). This article uses operant conditioning as the primary learning procedure, self-injurious behavior as the main psychological topic, drive-reduction as the theory and alcohol as the substance abuse example.

Body Paragraphs

The psychologist B.F. Skinner created the theory of operant conditioning in the 1950s with the tool he made called Skinner box. In operant conditioning, a reward is attached to a particular behavior; for example, a mouse pressing a lever in to get some food or water (Miljanovic et al., 2018). Using punishment when a specific behavior is elicited can also alter behavior in order to remove it. This theory provides one of the most efficient methods of measuring the power of specifically addictive substances (Friedman, 2001). Alcohol can be given as a well-known example of these addictive substances.

Alcohol acts in the brain in a similar way to other substances, like a “key” that fits into a specific “lock” that opens a door for further communication. Alcohol has an effect on all the motor and sensory parts of the brain and has various neurotransmitter effects, even though it does have a receptor that seems to be deliberately made for it. In severe cases, alcohol addiction leads to self-injury. It also causes self-damaging actions like spending too much, reckless driving, and recurrent physical fights. These effects are not unique to alcohol. Opioids have opioid receptors, and cannabis has cannabis receptors, which shows that the internal organs release substances with the same type of features like their consumed relative, alcohol (Charles & Charlotte Herrick, 2007). The body produces similar chemicals, and therefore even doing sports may prevent addiction by sustaining homeostasis.

The drive-reduction approach of Clark L. Hull and Kenneth W. Spence was famous in the 1930s and provided motivation by being used as an intervening variable in the process of homeostasis, the willingness to sustain balance by changing biological and chemical responses. When the body is not balanced, it produces needs, which a little bit later become drives (McLeod, 2011). Behaviors can be accepted as actions to decrease these drives by responding to the associated needs (Koob, 2011). In the case of the drive-reduction approach, the bond between stimulus and response in classical and operant conditioning finalizes in learning if it is supported by drive reduction (Strickland, 2001). An experiment needs to be made in order to know whether the body can balance itself without alcohol or not.

The research question is, ''Do sports activities prevent substance abuse?'' in this experiment. Sports activities that prevent substance abuse is the hypothesis. The Independent variable is sports activities, and the dependent variable is less substance abuse. The expected result is less substance abuse. Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) should be applied before the experiment in order to check results with the final AUDIT.

Alcohol Essay: Conclusion

This article covers operant conditioning as a learning procedure, self-injurious behavior as a psychological topic, drive-reduction as the theory, and alcohol addiction as an example of substance abuse. It also includes an experiment with a research question, hypothesis, independent and dependent variables, expected results, and an AUDIT. The experiment needs to be done in order to achieve conclusions.


Friedman, H. S. (2001). The disorders: specialty articles from the Encyclopedia of mental health. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

Herrick, C. R., & Herrick, C. A. (2007). 100 Questions & answers about alcoholism. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.

Koob, G. F. (2011). Theoretical Frameworks and Mechanistic Aspects of Alcohol Addiction: Alcohol Addiction as a Reward Deficit Disorder. Behavioral Neurobiology of Alcohol Addiction Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences, 3–30. doi: 10.1007/978-3-642-28720-6_129

McGee, K. (2011, March 2). Why Should We Make Multiple Trials of an Experiment? Retrieved March 14, 2020, from

Mcleod, S. (1970, January 1). What are Independent and Dependent Variables?: Simply Psychology.

Miljanovic Damjanovic, V., Obradovic Salcin, L., Zenic, N., Foretic, N., & Liposek, S. (2019, July 18). Identifying Predictors of Changes in Physical Activity Level in Adolescence: A Prospective Analysis in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Strickland, B. B. (2001). The Gale encyclopedia of psychology. Detroit, MI: Gale Group.

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Baris Yalcin
Baris Yalcin
Content Editor at Tamara Research. Movie and music addict. Bachelor's degree in Translation and Interpreting.

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