The Science Behind Addictive Behaviours:
Numerous studies have shed light on the addictive nature of certain behaviours, explaining why they can become deeply ingrained habits that are challenging to break. Whether it’s the release of dopamine triggered by indulging in comfort foods or the allure of social validation and connection provided by social media platforms, addictive behaviours have a profound impact on our brains.
Studies have shown that consuming highly palatable foods can lead to the release of dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward, in the brain. Over time, this can create a vicious cycle of seeking out these foods as a means of emotional comfort or stress relief. Similarly, nicotine in cigarettes stimulates the release of dopamine, creating a strong association between smoking and pleasure.
Smartphones and social media also play on our brain’s reward system. Notifications, likes, and comments trigger a release of dopamine, creating a desire for more engagement and validation. The constant stimulation and instant gratification provided by these technologies make them highly addictive, often leading to excessive usage and detachment from real-life experiences.
See the bottom of this page for references to scientific studies in these areas.