Title : Nonconscious motivational influences on cognitive processes in addictive behaviours
The motivational and goal theory of current concerns is the theoretical framework for our research on nonconscious motivational influences on cognitive processes in addictive behaviours. In this chapter, we present the elements of the theory and define basic motivational terms. Briefly, a current concern is an individual’s motivational state between two time points. Each concern starts when an individual becomes committed to pursuing a particular goal, and it lasts until the goal is reached or the pursuit is relinquished. During this time, the current concern, as a dedicated brain process, guides the person’s cognitive processes, including attention, memory, thoughts, and dreams. The person, however, is likely to be unaware of these influences (i.e. they are nonconscious). What is true of goals in general is, of course, true of the goal of using alcohol or another addictive substance. However, certain influences—including delay discounting—seem more prominent in the case of substance-related goals than they are generally. We hold that the decision to use a substance is voluntary; thus, the choice to use is subject to the person’s conscious control. We detail various reasons for this, but we also discuss how implicit processes influence the decision to drink or use another addictive substance. The best studied of these is addiction-related attentional bias; we summarize the research on it. We also describe two interventions (Alcohol Attention Control Training and Life Enhancement and Advancement Programme) for helping drinkers to overcome the nonconscious motivational influences on their addictive behaviour.
Motivation, addiction, cognition, retraining, Motivation, addiction, cognition, retraining