213 115 115 3 3 A. C. Parrott Department of Psychology University of East London E15 4LZ London UK Abstract Self-rated feelings of stress and arousal were monitored before and after each cigarette, over a day of normal smoking. Subjects comprised 105 unpaid volunteers (65 female, 40 male; mean age 30.4 years; mean consumption 12.4 cigarettes on test day). Feelings of arousal were significantly higher post-smoking than presmoking. The degree of arousal change was monotonically related to scores on the smoking motivation questionnaire (SMQ) stimulant subscale, with high stimulant smokers reporting the greatest arousal modulation. However stimulant smokers reported low arousal before smoking, rather than high arousal after smoking. Feelings of stress were significantly lower post-smoking than presmoking. The degree of stress change was monotonically related to scores on the SMQ sedative subscale, with high sedative smokers reporting the greatest stress change. This confirms the criterion validity of this second SMQ subscale. However, as with the arousal data, sedative smokers tended to report high stress before smoking, rather than low stress after smoking. Smoking did not therefore produce advantageous post-cigarette feeling states. Instead, mood modulation largely comprised the alleviation of poor psychological states prior to smoking. These stress and arousal changes often occurred simultaneously, against the predictions of the arousal modulation theory. Arousal modulation and stress modulation should therefore be seen as separate and independent processes. Lastly, feelings of stress and arousal fluctuated repeatedly over the day, with improved moods immediately after smoking, but impaired moods developing between cigarettes. These mood reversals provide a clear psychological rationale for the repetitive (addictive) nature of nicotine use.
Psychopharmacology – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 1, 1994
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