Addiction


This is the web page for the graduate course 24.500 / 9.913 Addiction and Rationality given by Richard Holton and Drazen Prelec at MIT, Spring Semester 2011. 

This interdisciplinary course uses addiction as a vehicle for critically examining different conceptions of rationality and agency. The aim will be to chart a middle path between those (mainly economists and some psychologists) who think of it as chosen, rational behavior; and those (mainly psychiatrists and some other psychologists) who see it as involving a total loss of agency. Lectures and visiting speakers will introduce several currently influential perspectives on addictive behavior. Confirmed visitors include: Robert Desimone (BCS, MIT), Gene Heyman, (McLean Hospital), George Loewenstein (SDS, CMU), Roy Baumeister (Psychology, FSU), Kent Berridge (Biopsychology, Michigan), Adam Weytz (Soc Cog Neuroscience, Harvard).

There is a Stellar page for this course at http://stellar.mit.edu/S/course/24/sp11/24.500/

The class will take place on Thursday afternoons, 2.00 - 5.00, in 32-d831 (8th floor of the Dreyfoos Tower in the Stata Center).

Week One, 3rd February: Bob Desimone, BCS, MIT 

Core Reading

Volkow et al: ‘Addiction’

Further Readings

Desimone’s Slides from the Presentation

Week Two, 10th February: Drazen Prelec and Gene Heyman, McLean Hosptial

Core Readings

Warner et al., ‘Prevalence and Correlates of Drug Use and Dependence in the United States
Burroughs ‘Deposition: Testimony Concerning a Sickness

Further Readings

Week Three, 17 February: George Loewenstein, SDS, CMU

Core readings

Further Readings

Week Four, 24th February: Richard Holton and Drazen Prelec

Core Readings

Ainslie Breakdown in Will

Week Five, 3rd March: Richard Holton

Core Readings

Willing, Wanting Waiting, Chapter 5

Further Readings

Week Six, 10th March: Kent Berridge, Biopsychology, Michigan

Core Readings

Further Readings

17th and 24th March: Midterm Break

Week Seven, 31st March: Drazen Prelec and Richard Holton

Self-Signalling

Core Readings

Further Readings

7th April: No class

Week Eight, 14th April: Roy Baumeister, Psychology, FSU

Core Readings

Further Readings

Week Nine, 21st April: Adam Waytz, Psychology, Harvard

Core Readings

Further Readings

Week Ten, 28th April: 

Core Readings

Further Readings

Week Eleven, 5th May: 

Core Readings

Further Readings

Week Twelve, 12th May:

Core Readings

Further Readings