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Biopsychology Colloquium: Loss of Control in Addiction: The Search for an Adequate Theory and the Case for Intellectual Humility

Dr. Chandra Sripada, Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Philosophy & Adjunct Associate Professor of Psychology, University of Michigan
Tuesday, September 28, 2021
12:00-1:00 PM
2210 AB (Second Floor) Michigan Union Map
Some theorists say that addiction involves loss of control over using drugs while others say control is preserved. In this chapter, I disagree with both sides, not so much in substance, but rather in epistemic tenor. Both sides, I argue, run well ahead of what the evidence allows. I frame the discussion in terms of a key division in human motivational architecture: We not only have desires, we also have powerful capacities to exercise top-down regulation over these desires. I review a number of influential theories of addiction, both ones that favor loss of control and ones that deny it, and I find that they all have a massive gap: They lack an adequate explanation for when and how top-down regulation over inappropriate desires succeeds and fails. Without this critical piece, we simply cannot have much confidence in these views.
Building: Michigan Union
Event Type: Presentation
Tags: colloquium
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Department of Psychology, Biopsychology