Implicit Cognition and Addiction

Document Type



Community and Global Health (CGU)

Publication Date



Medicine and Health Sciences | Mental and Social Health | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Substance Abuse and Addiction


Extensive recent research has begun to unravel the more implicit or automatic cognitive mechanisms in addiction. This effort has increased our understanding of some of the perplexing characteristics of addictive behaviors. The problem, often, is not that substance abusers do not understand that the disadvantages of continued use outweigh the advantages; rather, they have difficulty resisting their automatically triggered impulses to use their substance of abuse. Existing interventions may help to moderate these impulses. In addition, new techniques aimed at directly modifying implicit cognitive processes in substance abuse are being developed.

Rights Information

© 2006 Association for Psychological Science