Evaluating Social-Cognitive Mechanisms That Regulate Self-Efficacy in Response to Provocative Smoking Cues

An Experimental Investigation

Published in: Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, v. 20, no. 1, Mar. 2006, p. 91-96

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2006

by William G. Shadel, Daniel Cervone

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Smokers' self-efficacy appraisals strongly predict smoking outcomes. However, the cognitive structures that regulate smokers' self-efficacy appraisals have not yet been identified. Knowledge of such structures could assist in designing treatments that target self-efficacy appraisals to improve smoking outcomes. This study evaluated whether 2 abstinence-related self-schemas, the abstainer ideal- and abstainer ought-possible selves, regulated self-efficacy to resist smoking when smokers were exposed to provocative smoking cues. Craving responses to the cues were a secondary outcome. Cognitively priming both of these abstainer selves increased self-efficacy and decreased craving compared with when a smoking-related self-schema was cognitively primed under the same provocative cue conditions. Higher levels of self-efficacy were consistently associated with decreased craving. These results have both theoretical and clinical implications for smoking cessation.

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