Is addiction a decision-making disorder?

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Behavioral Economics of Addiction

Behavioral economics provides a framework to understand when and how people make mistakes. The new field of behavioral economics blends insights of psychology and economics, and provides some valuable insights that individuals are not behaving in their own best interests. Behavioral economics emerged against the backdrop of the traditional economic approach known as rational choice model. The rational person is assumed to correctly weigh costs and benefits and calculate the best choices for himself. The rational person is expected to know his tastes (both present and future), and never flip-flops between two contradictory desires. He has perfect self-control and can restrain impulses that may prevent him from achieving his long-term goals. Traditional economics use these assumptions to predict real human behavior. The standard policy advice that stems from this way of thinking is to give people as many choices as possible, and let them choose the one they like best (with minimum government action). In contrast, behavioral economics shows that actual human beings do not act that way. ….[READ]

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