Wetz _ Sayette, 2001 - Psychology of Addictive Behaviors...

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Psychology of Addictive Behaviors 2001, Vol. 15, No. 3, 268-271 Copyright 2001 by the Educational Publishing Foundation 0893-164X/OI/S5.00 DOI: 10.1037//0893-164X.15.3.268 Effects of Smoking Opportunity on Attentional Bias in Smokers Joan M. Wertz and Michael A. Sayette University of Pittsburgh The emotional Stroop task was used to examine the influence of opportunity to smoke on attentional bias to smoking-related stimuli. At the outset of the study, 92 nicotine-deprived smokers were told that they (a) would, (b) would not, or (c) might be able to smoke during the experiment. Next, participants completed an emotional Stroop task, in which they were presented with smoking-related or -unrelated words in an unblocked format. Smokers demonstrated interference to the smoking words, relative to matched neutral words, F(l, 87) = 18.0, p < .0001. Moreover, smoking opportunity affected the degree of interference, F(2, 87) = 4.35, p < .02, with participants who had been told they would be able to smoke during the study showing the most interference. The results suggest that smoking opportunity affects the salience of smoking-related stimuli among nicotine-deprived smokers. There is an emerging literature examining the role of cognitive processing in drug urge (Sayette, 1999; Tiffany, 1990). One ap- proach has been to investigate biases in addicts' processing of drug-related information. Specifically, addiction may be related to 1993; Sayette, 1999). One method to assess sensitivity to drug- related cues is the emotional Stroop task, which has detected attentional biases for clinically relevant words in patient samples Gross, Jarvik, and Rosenblatt (1993) used the emotional Stroop task to assess attentional bias in smokers. This task requires participants to name the color of the letters of a stimulus word while ignoring word content. An increase in response time to stimulus words, relative to control words, indicates an attentional bias. Gross et al. provided smokers with word lists that were blocked, such that words from a certain group (e.g., smoking- related words) were presented together. Participants named word colors as quickly as possible, and the response time for each word list was recorded. Interference effects emerged for smoking words among abstinent smokers but not among nonabstinent smokers Waters and Feyerabend (2000) used a computerized emotional Stroop task that allowed latencies to be recorded for each word and permitted a comparison of drug-related items that were blocked and unblocked. (In contrast to blocked formats, the unblocked Joan M. Wertz and Michael A. Sayette, Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh. This research was supported by a grant from the National Institute on
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Wetz _ Sayette, 2001 - Psychology of Addictive Behaviors...

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