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Title: Conditioned-stimulus-elicited emotion and outcome expectation have dissociable effects on reward seeking, and are differentially affected by personality : implications for addiction
Author: Jeffs, Stephen
ISNI:       0000 0004 5365 7495
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 2015
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A better understanding of the psychological mechanisms underpinning addiction will facilitate its remediation. Some evidence suggests that the emotional properties of drug-paired stimuli themselves drive drug-procurement, while other evidence indicates that the expectation of reward elicited by the stimuli is sufficient to control drug-seeking. The current series of experiments aimed to explicate these seemingly contradictory data, by characterising the roles played in reward seeking by conditioned-stimulus-elicited emotion and expectation in non-dependent samples, before assessing their contribution in smokers. Further data suggest a role of personality in addictive behaviours, thus personality was assessed as a moderator of reward-seeking. Variations of a Pavlovian-to-instrumental transfer design, which tests the ability of reward-associated stimuli to modulate reward seeking, together with questionnaires of personality were applied. It was shown that outcome expectation was consistently necessary for cue-potentiated monetary-reward seeking, and similarly in smokers, cigarette outcome expectation was sufficient for cue-potentiated cigarette-reward seeking. Tentative evidence for the role of conditioned-stimulus emotional value in monetary-reward seeking was found, although this latter result requires scrutiny through additional research. Moderating influences of Extraversion and Neuroticism were found for cue-elicited emotion and outcome expectation, respectively. It is therefore proposed that reward expectancy is necessary for conditioned stimuli to control behaviour. The emotional properties of reward-predictive stimuli may be important for reward seeking in the absence of addiction, but when addiction to reward is present, control of reward seeking can occur via reward expectation only. Data from the role of personality, in moderating the effects of stimulus-elicited emotion or outcome expectation on reward-seeking behaviour, suggest that the control of behaviour by emotion may be facilitated by Extraversion, due to its propensity towards emotional processes, whereas control by expectation may be facilitated by Neuroticism, due to its inclination towards predictive learning.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF0199 Behaviourism. Neobehaviourism. Behavioural psychology