A striking characteristic of addictive behavior is the pursuit of immediate reward at the risk of longer-term detrimental outcomes. It is typically accompanied by the expression of a strong desire to cease from or at least control consumption that has such consequences, followed by lapse, further resolution, relapse, and so on. Understood in this way, addiction includes substance abuse as well as behavioral compulsions like excessive gambling or even uncontrollable shopping. Behavioral economics and neurophysiology provide well-worn paths to understanding this behavior and this book regards them as central components of this quest. However, the specific question it seeks to answer is, What part does cognition – the desires we pursue and the beliefs we have about how to accomplish them – play in explaining addictive behavior?
The answer is sought in a methodology that indicates why and where cognitive explanation is necessary, the form it should take, and the outcomes of employing it to understand addiction. It applies the Behavioral Perspective Model (BPM) of consumer choice, a tried and tested theory of more routine consumption, ranging from everyday product and brand choice, through credit purchasing and environmental despoliation, to the more extreme aspects of consumption represented by compulsion and addiction.
The book will advance debate among behavioral scientists, cognitive psychologists, and other professionals about the nature of economic and social behavior.
'Much has been written upon behavioral and cognitive approaches to the understanding of choice, the general process of making decisions. Furthermore, consumer decision-making is central to understanding consumer behavior and consumer product and service adoption, purchase, use and to post-purchase behaviors. In his new book, Addiction as Consumer Choice: Exploring the Cognitive Dimension, Gordon Foxall makes a highly significant addition to the body of literature on consumer choice by offering a specifically formulated blend of cognitive and behavioral forms of understanding, which comes out of his ongoing multidisciplinary research project.'- Foreword by Paul Hackett, Professor, Emerson College, Boston, USA
'Based upon a coherent epistemology, the book presents an integrated interpretation of addiction that draws on concepts and findings from operant behavioral-economics, consumer behavior analysis, neuroscience and cognitive Psychology. Using clear and friendly language, this scholarly, groundbreaking endeavor will be a milestone in the field.' - Jorge M. Oliveira-Castro, Professor, University of Brasilia, Brazil
'Despite harmful consequences, addiction remains prevalent in society. But can it be conceived as 'consumer choice'? Gordon Foxall discusses this question in his insightful, multidisciplinary portrayal of addiction - a must for researchers in the areas of Addiction and Consumer Behavior.' - Mirella Yani-de-Soriano, Senior Lecturer, Cardiff University, UK
Introduction 1. Speaking of Addiction 2. Temporal Preference 3. Consumption and Addiction 4. Psychological Explanation: Intentional interpretation 5. Psychological Explanation: Cognitive interpretation 6. Conclusion