Consider the relative contribution of classical and operatn conditioning to problem gambling

This paper will look at various theories and therapies related with gambling behavior with the focus on conditioning theories.
As gambling is becoming a popular activity, the problems associated with gambling are also increasing. Because of this, it has become necessary to do extensive research into the different facets of gambling including the behaviors that influence gambling, the negative effects it can have, and treatment of gambling addicts. Researchers have also tried to classify gamblers into various categories using different criteria. For example, Abbott, Palmisano &amp. Dickerson (1995) classify gamblers as excessive of normal gamblers. Fisher (1993) classifies them as social or pathological gamblers. Gupta &amp. Derevensky (1998) classify them as social, problem, or pathological gamblers. Shaffer et al. (1994) classify them as non-pathological, in-transition, or pathological gamblers. and Vitaro, Arseneault &amp. Tremblay (1999) classify them as recreational, low-problem, or high-problem gamblers. (cited in Blaszczynski &amp. Nower, 2002) These differences in the classification of gamblers have also resulted in non-applicability of a single gambling model to the overall population of gamblers, although there are other various reasons too. A single theoretical model of gambling cannot explain and account for the various biological, psychological and social factors that are related with problem gambling.
Problem Gambling
Problem gambling can be defined as a "gambling behavior which causes disruptions in any major area of life: psychological, physical, social, or vocational." (The National Council , nd. n.p.) Problem gambling also includes what other researchers like Blaszczynski &amp. Nower (2002) have referred to as pathological gambling. Pathological gambling refers to an enduring and repeated maladaptive gambling behavior, in which the gambler cannot control the desire to gamble, which may bring harmful psychosocial results: personal, familial, financial, professional, or legal. (APA, 1994. cited in Blaszczynski &amp. Nower, 2002) Because of his inability to control his gambling behavior, a problem gambler may harm his own self, his family or the community. For example, a problem gambler will give priority to his gambling habits over his family’s needs, and therefore, will not care about destroying his familial life as a normal person would care.
There are some symptoms that are commonly found in problem gamblers although they do not necessarily mean that a person is involved in problem gambling. These signs include but are not limited to headaches, back pain, insomnia, ADHD, anxiety. (Tessier &amp. Ballon, 2003) It is recommended that when such orders are frequently found in a patient, a physician should test him for problem gambling.
Classical and Operant Conditioning
Classical conditioning revolves around the concepts of stimulus and response. A stimulus is anything that brings a response in the subject. A response is a reaction that is brought by the