Psychological factors and addiction: Personality


(from the chapter) The addiction syndrome approach raises questions that can be answered by research. For instance, what is the evidence for an "addictive personality"? This question leads to several others. To what extent do the use of alcohol and different drugs covary within populations of users? To what extent does the use of substances in general correlate with other types of behavioral addictions such as gambling or seeking sexual variety? Is there a broader personality type associated with addictive behaviors as well as other behaviors involving pursuit of pleasure with little regard for the consequences? Sensation or novelty seeking has been suggested as a personality trait predisposing individuals to addictions of various sorts. Different personality types have also been suggested to underlie different motivations for alcohol or drug abuse. There is evidence for some form of an addictive personality in the sense of relationships between different kinds of substance use, abuse, or dependence. If this is true, different personality types may be involved in drinking or taking drugs for different reasons. I also explore this possibility in this chapter.

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