Episode 57: Behavioral Addiction – When Behaviors Are Like Drugs

In this episode, Steve explains the difference between Addiction and Dependency, and that it means to be addicted to something that isn’t a psychoactive substance. We talk about the meteoric rise of online gambling, specifically sports gambling, in recent years.


  • Behavioral Addiction (aka Process Addiction): a form of addiction that involves a compulsion to engage in a rewarding non-substance-related behavior – sometimes called a natural reward – despite any negative consequences to the person’s physical, mental, social or financial well-being.
  • Addiction: a neuropsychological disorder characterized by a persistent and intense urge to use a drug or engage in a behaviour that produces natural reward, despite substantial harm and other negative consequences.
  • Physical Dependence: a physical condition caused by chronic use of a tolerance-forming drug, in which abrupt or gradual drug withdrawal causes unpleasant physical symptoms.
  • Psychological Dependency: a cognitive disorder that involves emotional–motivational withdrawal symptoms—e.g. anxiety and anhedonia—upon cessation of prolonged drug abuse or certain repetitive behaviors.
  • Dopamine Dependence
  • Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM): the taxonomic and diagnostic tool published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA).
  • 4 C’s of Addiction: Compulsion, Craving, Consequences, and Control
  • Thinking Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman
  • Wechat – Chinese “everything” app where you can do most things you could want to do on your phone
  • Erich Fromm – To Have or to Be?
  • Desire as Lack vs Desire as Fullness: That Dang Dad’s take on it (Transcript; Video)
  • The Fullness of Desire (Essay) by Lida Maxwell
  • Episode 11: Internalized Capitalism
  • Carl Rogers – On Becoming a Person
  • Roy Baumeister and Kathleen D. Vohs – Narcissism is Addiction to Esteem
  • Thomas Joiner – Lonely at the Top
  • Operant Conditioning: a learning process where voluntary behaviors are modified by association with the addition (or removal) of reward or aversive stimuli.
  • (Random) Reinforcement: any consequence that increases the likelihood of an organism’s future behavior whenever that behavior is preceded by a particular antecedent stimulus.

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