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Addict Behav. 1997 Nov-Dec;22(6):813-7.

Attentional bias in active smokers, abstinent smokers, and nonsmokers.

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University of Bergen, Norway.


Attentional bias was studied with a modified version of the Stroop test in active smokers, abstinent smokers, and nonsmokers. The task was color-naming of incongruent color-words, smoking-related words, and neutral words. The results showed that the active smokers used longer verbal reaction time (VRT) to smoking-related words compared to abstinent smokers, i.e., indicating stronger attentional bias in the active smokers. Furthermore, longer VRTs to the Stroop words compared to the smoking words and the neutral words were found only in nonsmokers and abstinent smokers. Finally, a significant negative correlation was found between attitudes against smoking and VRTs to the smoking-related words. Taken together the main finding was that the active smokers showed no differential response to the stimuli. This could be caused by a lack of ability to modulate attentional processes in active smokers.

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