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It’s Different When We’re Together: The Impact of Experiencing a Peak-Provoked Cigarette Craving State with a Smoking Friend

Dimoff, John (2019) It’s Different When We’re Together: The Impact of Experiencing a Peak-Provoked Cigarette Craving State with a Smoking Friend. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Cigarette craving predicts relapse to smoking, which remains the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Understanding why individuals choose to smoke has important clinical implications and is a research priority. Ecological momentary assessment studies reveal that social factors, such as the presence of other people, affect the craving experience, yet laboratory smoking research has largely ignored these factors by testing participants in isolation. In this study, a shared reality framework aimed to broaden the set of responses related to craving, and in particular to evaluate social processes that may change when smokers experience craving while in the presence of a smoking friend compared to when smokers crave alone. Sixty pairs of smoking friends (n = 120) arrived together at the laboratory following a required a 5-hr of smoking abstinence. Participants then underwent an in vivo smoking cue-exposure craving induction either with their friend present or with the friend in the next room. Participants who were together with their smoking friend while craving experienced a greater sense of shared reality and felt closer to their friend than did those who were alone. Though social context did not influence their urge to smoke or craving-related affect, urge was associated with shared reality when participants were together, but not when they were alone. Further, for participants who were together, shared Duchenne smiles were associated with ratings of shared reality. Results highlight potential social motives for smoking (e.g., satisfying epistemic and relational goals), and highlight the need for increased laboratory research on smoking that includes a social context.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Dimoff, Johnjdd16@pitt.edujdd160000-0003-0970-8622
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairSayette, Michaelsayette@pitt.edusayette0000-0001-7617-5198
Committee MemberPogue-Geile, Michaelmfpg@pitt.edumfpg0000-0003-2193-1376
Committee MemberOrehek, Edwardorehek@pitt.eduorehek0000-0003-0623-0846
Committee MemberLevine, Johnjml@pitt.edujml0000-0002-1650-1884
Committee MemberLevine, Michelemlevine@pitt.edumlevine0000-0002-1054-3856
Committee MemberDonny, Ericedonny@pitt.eduedonny0000-0003-3288-9652
Date: 20 September 2019
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 6 June 2018
Approval Date: 20 September 2019
Submission Date: 20 November 2018
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 78
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: craving; urge; social processes; smoking; shared reality
Date Deposited: 20 Sep 2019 18:38
Last Modified: 20 Sep 2019 18:38

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