Stimulus and Response Expectancies Influence the Cognitive Effects of Cigarettes

Kelemen, William L.
December 2008
Journal of Smoking Cessation;Dec2008, Vol. 3 Issue 2, p136
Academic Journal
The pharmacological, stimulus expectancy, and response expectancy effects of light cigarettes (0.60 mg yield of nicotine) compared with virtually nicotine-free cigarettes (less than 0.05 mg yield of nicotine) were examined using a between-subjects design. A total of 103 college student smokers completed tests of cognition before and after smoking one type of cigarette, which was evaluated on a number of dimensions. Cigarettes with nicotine were preferred on most dimensions, and stimulus expectancy partially mediated the relationship between nicotine and subjective effects of the cigarettes. Stimulus expectancy also mediated the effect of nicotine on tension reduction immediately after smoking, but not near the end of the experiment. Response expectancy effects of nicotine were related to predicted and actual recall performance, such that participants who performed well tended to attribute the effect to the cigarette they smoked. Implications for smoking cessation and research studies using non-nicotine cigarettes are discussed.


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