Thinking about craving: An experimental analysis of smokers' spontaneous self-reports of craving

William G. Shadel, Raymond Niaura, David B. Abrams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study evaluated whether smokers generate spontaneous expressions of craving (i.e., expressions of an urge, craving, desire, want, or need) in response to cues designed to provoke a craving state. In a 2 (smoking deprivation: 1 and 12 h)×2 (cue type: neutral, active) within-subjects design, smokers were asked to think aloud in an unstructured way (i.e., "describe everything you are thinking and feeling right now"). Results revealed a main effect for cue type on think-aloud craving responses: Smokers spontaneously generated a greater number of craving-related cognitions during active cue exposure compared with neutral cue exposure, both during both 1- and 12-h deprivation. This same pattern of effects was not found for a self-report assessment of craving, which was insensitive to cue-provoked changes in craving in the 1-h deprivation condition. These results suggest that smokers do spontaneously experience craving, independent of an explicit assessment of craving and that think-aloud methods may provide a novel assessment of craving that may be relatively more sensitive than self-report methods under some circumstances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)811-815
Number of pages5
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Volume29
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2004

Keywords

  • Craving
  • Smokers
  • Think-aloud method

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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