ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (5): 834-842.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2019.00834

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Impulsivity or habitual behavior? The function and mechanism of impulsivity in different phases of drug addiction

WANG PengFei, YAN RuiTing, MIAO Xin, ZENG Hong()   

  1. Department of Psychology, Research Center of Psychology & Brain Science Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, China
  • Received:2018-06-15 Online:2019-05-15 Published:2019-03-20
  • Contact: ZENG Hong


Impulsivity is a type of risky behavior or tendency of carrying out such behavior without sufficient consideration of its consequences. It could be represented by impulsive behavior-related personality traits and also delaying discounting or proponent response inhibition. A large number of researches have indicated that the impulsive behavior is implicated in the stages of initiation, maintenance, and relapse of drug-seeking behaviors that are involved in drug addiction. However, how impulsivity influence and facilitate the process of drug addiction is yet to be clarified. Analyzing the impulsivity of the different stages of addiction may lead to further understanding. At the beginning stage of drug use, impulsive personality trait plays a role of motivation to facilitate the drug use behavior. Then continuous operant condition learning leads drug users to enter the goal-oriented stage and presents impulsive selection tendency. At the third stage, classical conditional learning promotes the matching of related cues and drug effects, forming a conditioned reflex. Addicts enter the stage of habitual drug use and show stop impulsivity.

Key words: addiction behavior, impulsivity, habitual drug use behavior, goal-directed behavior.

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