Cue-induced smoking urges deplete cigarette smokers' self-control resources

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Hagger, Martin S
Leaver, Eamonn
Esser, Kerstin
Leung, Chung-Ming
Pas, Nina Te
Keatley, David A
Chan, Derwin K-C
Chatzisarantis, Nikos LD
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2013
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Abstract

Background:

Exposure to smoking-related cues leads to increased urge to smoke in regular cigarette smokers and resisting these urges requires considerable self-control.

Purpose:

Adopting a resource depletion model, two studies tested the hypothesis that resisting smoking urges depletes self-control resources.

Methods:

Adopting a within-participants randomized cross-over design, participants (study 1, N = 19; study 2, N = 32) were exposed to smoking-related (study 1: smoking images; study 2: cigarette cue-exposure task) and neutral (study 1: neutral images; study 2: drinking-straw task) cues with presentation order randomized. After each cue set, participants completed self-control tasks (study 1: handgrip task; study 2: handgrip and Stroop tasks), performance on which constituted dependent measures of self-control.

Results:

Self-control task performance was significantly impaired when exposed to smoking-related cues compared to neutral cues. No significant presentation-order effects, or interaction effects between stimulus and presentation order, were found.

Conclusions:

Findings corroborate our hypothesis that resisting smoking urges depletes cigarette smokers’ self-control resources and suggests that self-control capacity is governed by a limited resource.

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Annals of Behavioral Medicine

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46

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3

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© 2013 Springer US. This is an electronic version of an article published in Annals of Behavioral Medicine, December 2013, Volume 46, Issue 3, pp 394–400. Annals of Behavioral Medicine is available online at: http://link.springer.com/ with the open URL of your article.

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Biomedical and clinical sciences

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Psychology

Other psychology not elsewhere classified

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