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Psychology   >   Addiction – Smoking

What is Addiction?

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Addiction – Smoking

In this course, Professor Marcus Munafò explores addiction in the context of smoking and smoking cessation. In the first lecture, we think about some key physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms of smoking, before exploring the fact that the positive outcomes of smoking may be simply an absence of these withdrawal symptoms. In the second and third lectures, we explore the internal and external factors which can influence the likelihood that someone may become addicted to a substance. In the fourth and fifth lectures, we continue this differentiation between internal and external factors, discussing internal, biological mechanisms of addiction and external, learning mechanisms. In his final note, Professor Munafò brings forward the idea of understanding addiction as a disorder of learning.

What is Addiction?

In this lecture, we think about what addiction is, focusing in particular on: (i) the two primary types of dependence being physical and psychological; (ii) physical symptoms of dependence reflecting prolonged use of the substance leading to physical dependence, resulting in withdrawal symptoms in the event of the substance being no longer used; (iii) psychological symptoms of dependence manifesting as different outcomes, such as anxiety and irritability; (iv) whether it is appropriate to consider these as distinctly different from physical withdrawal symptoms; (v) the proposal that positive feelings when smoking, such as relaxation, are actually just an absence of the negative withdrawal symptoms which had been building since the last time that individual smoked.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Munafò, M. (2021, November 09). Addiction – Smoking - What is Addiction? [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Munafò, M. "Addiction – Smoking – What is Addiction?." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 09 Nov 2021,

Image Credits


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Prof. Marcus Munafò

Bristol University