Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences

pp 1-5

Date: Latest Version

Addictive Personality

  • Caroline DavisAffiliated withSchool of Kinesiology & Health Science, York University Email author 


Addiction proneness; Personality risk for addiction


Relatively stable preexisting psychological traits that increase the risk for engaging in, and becoming dependent on, addictive behaviors


Among the general public, the notion of an addictive personality appears to be a widely held credo judging by its frequent use in common parlance, particularly in reference to “confessions” of almost irresistible preferences for certain very rewarding experiences, objects, or substances. Members of the scientific community also attest to the existence of an addictive personality as seen by the numerous books and journal articles published on this theme in the past several decades. Existing theories of risk for addiction are generally embedded in a biomedical model, and attempts to provide a tangible description of a vulnerability profile have relied largely on biobehavioral and psychological constructs (Clark 2015). Identification of the components of this putative person ...

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