Bad habits and substance addiction have been a long companion of humanity throughout history. Due to scientific discoveries, scientists have learned not only the harmful effects of these phenomena but also ways to cure them. One such substance is marijuana, whose adverse effect is officially recognized by the academic community (Miller et al., 2017). The purpose of this work is to present a scenario related to an anti-marijuana campaign and how the theory of biological psychology can make it useful.
Selected Scenario and Foundational Psychological Theory
It is no secret that advertising or campaigns aimed at promoting a healthy lifestyle or stopping the use of harmful substances often causes a sharply adverse reaction from the public. Adolescents and youth are the population group that criticizes such attempts more than anyone else. For example, Michigan’s anti-marijuana campaign was criticized because of the wrong way to deliver a message (Ainsworth, 2020). The psychological approach to creating a competent campaign can change the focus group’s opinion. The author of this work chose biological psychology as a fundamental psychological perspective. According to McLeod (2013), “it is one of the major perspectives in psychology and involves such things as studying the brain, genetics, hormones, and the immune and nervous systems” (para. 37). A more effective anti-marijuana ad campaign can be developed through the paradigm that human biology determines their thoughts and behavior.
The solution to the Problem
Researchers in the field of biological psychology have found that advertising with attention-grabbing features affects the behavior of smokers. Shi et al. (2017) “found that the DAT1 polymorphism modulated smokers’ brain response to the attention-grabbing sensory features in smoking-cessation videos” (p. 7). Their study was conducted using research methods such as genotyping, MRI data acquisition, functional imaging data analysis, predictability analysis, and mediation analysis (Shi et al., 2017). Therefore, it can be argued that by developing a competent anti-marijuana advertising campaign with high attention-grabbing features, it is possible to influence all age groups of smokers to quit their addiction. The author came to this decision in the course of reasoning that the age range of marijuana-addicted people is vast, so sending a message about cessation to them through certain cultural elements may be ineffective. On the other hand, the impact on the brain processes of the human brain is almost always universal. That is why the approach from the perspective of biological psychology is the most optimal.
Possible Impact on Mental Health and Well-Being
Changes in brain activity caused by the visual impact of a long and aggressive anti-marijuana campaign can lead to an increased number of people who quit. Following cases of marijuana smoking cessation will lead to fewer cases of the development of psychosis and schizophrenia, especially among a population of twelve to seventeen years old (“Top 10 marijuana legalization issues,” n.d.). The campaign can also affect the social environment by reducing the influence of drug cartels and black markets and securing significant sums of money on social services (“Top 10 marijuana legalization issues,” n.d.). The number of cases of imprisonment for possession of marijuana will also be reduced.
This paper explores how biological psychology can solve an anti-marijuana campaign’s existing problems and even improve its impact. The author of this work described the issue within the framework of the scenario, the chosen foundational psychological theory, and presented an explanation of its application. Methods used in the mentioned scientific sources and possible consequences for the mental health and well-being of affected populations were also noted.
Ainsworth, A. (2020). ‘I’m you in 10 years’: Michigan anti-marijuana campaign draws criticism. ClickOnDetroit. Web.
McLeod, S. (2013). Psychology perspectives. Web.
Miller, N. S., Oberbarnscheidt, T., & Gold, M. S. (2017). Marijuana addictive disorders: DSM-5 substance-related disorders. Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy, 11(2), 1-8.
Shi, Z., Wang, A. L., Aronowitz, C. A., Romer, D., & Langleben, D. D. (2017). Individual differences in the processing of smoking-cessation video messages: An imaging genetics study. Biological Psychology, 128, 1-8.
Top 10 marijuana legalization issues. (n.d.). Web.