From Use to Abuse: When Everyday Consumption Behaviours Morph into Addictive Consumptive Behaviours
9 Pages Posted: 14 Feb 2013
Date Written: January 25, 2013
Addiction does not begin with the harmful effects of being dependent on a particular consumption behaviour such as smoking, alcohol, or illegal drugs. Instead it starts with everyday seemingly benign behaviours that, through psychological, biophysical, and/or environmental triggers, can become harmful and morph into an addiction. We develop a framework based on harm and dependence that can help researchers better understand how consumers could become addicted to various types of everyday benign consumption behaviours (e.g., texting, shopping, plastic surgery, and other types of normally acceptable behaviours). Furthermore, the conceptual framework is based on expanding the concept of addiction to include the pre-addiction process with a focus on this continuum of benign to harmful behavioural consumption. This framework describes how consumers progress from a normal state of consumption into a state of addictive abuse and dependence. The framework discusses key issues and future research that can aid public policy researchers, practitioners, and marketers to better understand the entire pre-addiction process.
Keywords: behavioral addiction
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