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Cue-Triggered Addiction and Natural Recovery

  • Chiara MOcenni

    ()

  • Giuseppe Montefrancesco

    ()

  • Silvia Tiezzi

    ()

In this paper we propose a model of natural recovery, a widespread yet unexplained aspect of addictive behavior, starting from the recent theory developed by Bernheim and Rangel (2004). While the Bernheim and Rangel model generates many distinctive patterns of addiction, it does not explicitly consider pathways to natural recovery. Based on insights from neurosciences, we introduce an ”implicit cognitive appraisal” process depending on past experiences as well as on future expected consequences of addictive consumption. Such function affects the individual in two ways: it erodes the payoff from use as the decision maker grows older and it increases the cognitive control competing with the hedonic impulses to use, thus reducing the probability of making mistakes. While we do recognize the importance of allowing for cue-triggered mistakes in individual decision making, our model recovers an important role for cognitive processes, such as subjective cost-benefit evaluations, in explaining natural recovery.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Siena in its series Department of Economics University of Siena with number 505.

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Date of creation: Jun 2007
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Handle: RePEc:usi:wpaper:505
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