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Everyday Addictions Assignment

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Everyday Addictions Assignment
Questions
1.According to Dr. Brewer, what is the “simple definition of addiction”?
According to Dr. Brewer, the “simple definition of addiction” is the “continued use despite adverse
consequences.”
2.According to Dr. Jud Brewer at the beginning of the video, “we’re all addicted to something.” He gives
several examples such as Tweeting, shopping, “pining after that special someone”, computer gaming,
eating, daydreaming, etc. What are your thoughts on this statement? Please elaborate. (Personal
Reflection)
In my opinion, it makes sense that all of those things are seen as addictions. For some people,
using Twitter may be a necessary thing that they do every day and according to Dr. Brewer that is
considered to be an addiction. Nowadays with social media around it is easy for people to be addicted to an
app since it is so easily accessible. Pretty much anything that we overuse in our daily lives can be seen as
an addiction.
3.According to Dr. Brewer, how do the “conveniences and efficiencies” of modern society contribute to
the development and maintenance of our addictive behaviors?
The “conveniences and efficiencies” of modern society contribute to the development and
maintenance of our addictive behaviors simply because they allow many things to be available to us in a
short amount of time. For example, if someone is addicted to watching TV then within a couple seconds
with a click of a button, they would be able to fulfill their need to watch TV.
4.What are the “new and old components” of our brains?
The “new components” of our brain are what work to think creatively and allow us to make
decisions. The “new components” are what lay on top of our brains “old components” which work to help
us survive. Dr. Brewer describes the “old component” of our brains as where we decide “fight or flight.
5.Where is the “reward-based learning” system located (old or new)? And what is it “based on?”
The “reward-based learning” system is located in the old component of our brain. According to
Dr. Brewer, this system is based on “positive and negative reinforcement.” This tells us what to do more of
based on how it made us feel, so if something makes you feel good then you do it more.
6.Describe how the reward-based learning system was “really helpful” in our “caveman days.”
Back in our “caveman days,” the reward-based learning system was considered to be helpful
because when cavemen were very hungry, they would see food and their brain would tell them that they

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need to eat it to survive. This would then stay within the brain and allow cavemen to remember how they
felt when they ate it and to do it again in the future.
7.Indicate the three components of the reward-based learning system. (Think: “see food, eat food, feel
good, repeat”).
The three components of the reward-based learning system are “trigger, behavior, and reward.”
8.How does the “new brain” extend this mechanism to times when we “feel bad”?
The “new brain” takes this mechanism even further by saying that when you feel bad then you
should do the action that makes you happy to feel good again.
9.Dr. Brewer states, “and each time we perform the behavior, we reinforce this brain pathway that says,
‘great, do it again’, so we do, and it becomes a habit.” (Fill in
both
blanks)
10.Describe the “worry habit loop.”
The worry habit loop is when you have a thought that triggers you to be worried which then
causes you to then avoid that thought. This is an ongoing cycle that can be retriggered and can cause you
stress.
11.Eckhart Tolle said, “one of the greatest addictions you never read about in the paper because people
don’t know it is the addiction to thinking.” (Fill in the blank)
12.Do you think you tend to over-think at times? How does your overthinking sometimes lead to
unpleasant emotional states such as anxiety, anger, etc.? Please elaborate. (Personal Reflection)
Personally, I over-think all the time, especially when it comes to thinking about something I did
in my past. For example, there was a situation when I thought that someone was waving to me and I
waved back but turns out they were waving to someone else. This made me feel uncomfortable and made
me think about what they thought of me. My overthinking often leads to me being anxious.
13.Describe how Dr. Brewer “brings old and new brain together” to explain the development of unhealthy
habits and compulsive behaviors.
The combination of our old and new brain can lead to us developing behaviors that satisfy our
cravings in unhealthy ways. According to Dr. Brewer, our new brain can use what our old brain knows to
make us act compulsively and emotional which can lead to us forming bad habits.
14.Describe what “intermittent reinforcement” is and how it is an “addiction maximizer”.
“Intermittent reinforcement” is when we are given a reward at random times which cause our
brains dopamine neurons to get excited. It causes our brain to get even more excited because the reward is

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seen as “unexpected.” This is seen as an “addiction maximizer” because these reinforcements are what
cause you to be excited at random times of the day and make your old brain feel something positive.
15.Describe what “immediate availability” is and how it is an “addiction maximizer”.
“Immediate availability” is when you can reward yourself as soon as possible. An example of this is
when you are in need of a specific item and purchase it off of Amazon and it comes the very next day.
This is an “addiction maximizer” because our needs are fulfilled immediately, and it doesn’t require a lot of
effort.
16.According to Dr. Brewer, “by combining the reward-based learning built into our old brain with
intermittent reinforcement
and
immediate availability we’ve created a dangerous formula for modern day
addictions that goes well beyond what we typically think of as substance abuse.” (Fill in the “…” to
complete the rest of the sentence.)
17.As Dr. Brewer states, “and it is worth reflecting on this for a moment – what are [your] ‘everyday
addictions’? What bad habits and unwanted behaviors do [you] keep doing despite adverse consequences?”
Please answer this question posed by Dr. Brewer. (Personal Reflection)
Personally, I am addicted to using my phone. I use it when I wake up and I use is right before I go
to bed. I consider this one of my bad habits since I rely on it a lot and pretty much every day.
18.Susan Shain’s article in the NY Times entitled “How to Crush Your Habits in the New Year with the
Help of Science” outlined six common strategies to overcome addictions and habits. What habit-change
strategies have you tried in the past and how successful have those strategies been long-term? (Personal
Reflection)
I have tried to substitute my phone addiction with going outside for fresh air or reading
something. When I was able to achieve something even if it is a small step, I make sure to celebrate my
success. I think that these strategies have been successful because they have helped me to think more
positively about changing my habit.
19.According to Dr. Brewer, the old brain “takes what it learns and moves it into muscle memory as
quickly as possible.” (Fill in the blanks)
20.According to Dr. Brewer, why does our old brain form habits? How does this ability to form habits
help us?
According to Dr. Brewer, our old brain forms habits so that way our brain has more space to learn
new things. This helps us to keep already learned things in our brain so that way we don’t have to keep re-
learning things. All of the basic things that we have learned how to do allow us to think quickly and use
our energy to learn other things.

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Everyday Addictions AssignmentQuestions1.According to Dr. Brewer, what is the simple definition of addiction?According to Dr. Brewer, the simple definition of addiction is the continued use despite adverseconsequences.2.According to Dr. Jud Brewer at the beginning of the video, were all addicted to something. He givesseveral examples such as Tweeting, shopping, pining after that special someone, computer gaming,eating, daydreaming, etc. What are your thoughts on this statement? Please elaborate. (PersonalReflection)In my opinion, it makes sense that all of those things are seen as addictions. For some people,using Twitter may be a necessary thing that they do every day and according to Dr. Brewer that isconsidered to be an addiction. Nowadays with social media around it is easy for people to be addicted to anapp since it is so easily accessible. Pretty much anything that we overuse in our daily lives can be seen asan addiction.3.According to Dr. Brewer, how do the conveniences and efficiencies of modern society contribute tothe development and maintenance of our addictive behaviors?The conveniences and efficiencies of mod ...
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