[ExI] fermi paradox again, was: addiction

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Mon Apr 6 17:33:21 UTC 2015

William Flynn Wallace <foozler83 at gmail.com> , 6/4/2015 6:41 PM:

​<anders at aleph.se> wrote:

> You need 100% addiction, not 95% (and in humans, most things that are addictive only for about 5%).

I'd like to know where the 5% figure comes from.   I have to doubt that it applies to all areas of addiction and if it distinguishes between chemical dependency and psychological dependency.  bill w

It is my loose hand-wave based on talking with people involved in addiction research (neuroscientists, psychologists, philosophers, criminologists). It is of course different for different drugs and types of addiction, but the fact remains that most people when exposed to something addictive will not become addicted. 

There is a lot of debate on whether "addictive personalities" actually exist, who have an increased risk, but they would of course just be a minority. And there are rather impressive demonstrations of context dependency in addiction, such as the relative lack of continued dependency in medical patients after treatment or the radical reduction of recidivism by moving addicts to new locations. 

The "standard view" that people just become addicted when experiencing an addictor because it hijacks the reward system is an oversimplification: at the very least it interacts with context-dependent perception-action loops in the basal ganglia and frontal cortex. 

Anders Sandberg, Future of Humanity Institute Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University
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