Addictive Personality Is Mostly a Myth

You’ve probably heard the phrase “addictive personality” before. The general idea is that some people are more prone to addiction because of their personality traits. However, this is a bit misleading and SciShow explains why.

The video explains that yes, there are some factors (mainly genetics and environment) that can increase the likelihood of someone developing an addiction problem. And yes, there is a correlation between certain personality traits and addiction. However, there is no causal relationship. As SciShow explains, the relationship between addiction and personality is complex.

Addictions are linked to many different factors … and they are all linked to each other in ways that researchers can never fully understand. The concept of addictive personality came into vogue in the early 1980s after the National Research Council published a book on addiction and included a chapter on what so-called personality factors might be related to addiction. This chapter was authored by Dr. Allen Lang, professor of psychology, who has reviewed many previous studies and conducted his own research on alcohol and drug addiction. He concluded, and I quote, ” there is no single unique personality that is a necessary and sufficient condition for substance abuse.

While Lang’s research has shown that addicts have certain similarities, it does not indicate a causal relationship. In other words, it doesn’t show that these qualities lead to addiction.

In short, there is a relationship between addiction and personality, but it is complex and cannot be attributed to the phrase “addicted person”. Watch the video for a full explanation.

Is there such a thing as an addictive personality? | SciShow (YouTube)


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