Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Cognitive and attentional bias in the processing of smoking-related stimuli
Author: Wallace-Bell, M. A.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2735 575X
Awarding Body: Middlesex University
Current Institution: Middlesex University
Date of Award: 2001
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
The aim of the present thesis was to examine the cognitive and attentional processing of smoking-related stimuli in abstinent, active and non-smokers. The initial research reported here is directed at establishing appropriate experimental and questionnaire materials for the main studies. This included the development of a valid list of smoking-related words with frequency-matched controls, and revising the Smoking Motivation Questionnaire based on analyses of structure and reliability. Generalised cognitive biases were assessed through a series of modified Stroop experiments. Although the findings suggested that abstinence alters cognition with respect to smoking-related stimuli an assessment of the results suggested that there were some inconsistencies in the findings. Only when a blocked-format Stroop with vocal responses was used was there evidence of a cognitive bias for smoking-related words in abstinent smokers. In order to specifically examine attentional bias in abstinent, active and nonsmokers, a final study assessed performance on a Dot Probe task. Results showed no shift in attention towards smoking words in abstinent smokers. However, a subsidiary analysis revealed that smokers who reported an awareness of smoking shifted their attention towards smoking words. These findings may suggest that different formats of attentional tasks provide differing outcomes in terms of smokers processing of smoking-related information, and that awareness is an important aspect of this processing. Finally, analyses of self-report measures revealed that smokers were more state anxious than smokers and that abstinence increased state anxiety and cigarette craving. The results from this thesis have provided some useful indicators of successful smoking cessation and may assist in the development of a cognitive model of smoking. However, the development of the work will be dependent on modifications and extensions needed to address the anomalies in the findings. Specifically the smoking-related words used and the type of attentional task employed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available