Addiction and Choice: Rethinking the Relationship
This chapter presents the motivational and goal theory of current concerns in relation to addiction and choice. A current concern is an individual’s motivational state from the point of becoming committed to pursuing a particular goal until the goal is reached or the pursuit is relinquished. During this time, the current concern guides the person’s cognitive processes, including attention, memory, thoughts, and dreams. What is true of goals in general is true of the goal of drinking alcohol or using another addictive substance. We hold that the decision to use a substance is voluntary; thus, the choice to use is subject to the person’s conscious control. Nevertheless, implicit processes influence the decision. One of these processes is addiction-related attentional bias. We describe (1) the research on attentional bias and (2) interventions for helping drinkers overcome the attentional and motivational influences on their addictive behavior.
Cox, W.M., Klinger, E., & Fadardi, J.S. (2016). Nonconscious motivational influences on cognitive processes in addictive behaviors. In Heather, N. & Segal, G. (Eds.) Addiction and Choice: Rethinking the relationship (pp. 259-285). New York: Oxford University Press.