Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary

The biopsychosocial and “complex” systems approach as a unified framework for addiction

Mark D. Griffithsa1

a1 Department of Gambling Studies, and Director, International Gaming Research Unit, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, NG1 4BU, United Kingdom. [email protected]


The “unified framework” for addiction proposed by Redish and colleagues is only unified at a reductionist level of analysis, the biological one relating to decision-making. Theories of addiction may be complementary rather than mutually exclusive, suggesting that limitations of individual theories might be unified through the combination of ideas from different biopsychosocial “complex” systems perspectives.