ISSN 2043-8087
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
 Volume 4, Issue 3, 250-262, 2013
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Motivational Mechanisms Underlying the Approach Bias to Cigarettes

Authors: Watson, P.(a),(b), de Wit, S.(b),(c), Cousijn, J.(a),(d), Hommel, B.(e),(f). & Wiers, R.W.(a),(b)
(a) ADAPT lab, Department of Developmental Psychology, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
(b) Cognitive Science Center Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
(c) Department of Clinical Psychology, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
(d) Amsterdam Institute for Addiction Research, Department of Psychiatry, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
(e) Cognitive Psychology Unit, Leiden University, Leiden, The Netherlands
(f) Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition, Leiden, The Netherlands

Volume 4, Issue 3, 2013, Pages 250-262

Approach Avoidance tasks measure approach bias, a behavioral tendency to be faster at approaching rather than avoiding drug cues. Approach bias has been measured in a number of different drug-using populations and there is evidence to suggest that approach bias measurements correlate with drug use. Little is known, however, about the motivational mechanisms underlying the approach bias. In the current study we assessed whether the approach bias to cigarettes was immediately sensitive to changes in the incentive value of smoking. We examined the change from baseline in a participant group, after half the group had been given the opportunity to smoke. Specifically, we examined whether the approach bias has the characteristics of a cue-elicited behavior or is flexibly modulated by current desire. Results showed that while the baseline approach-bias score in deprived cigarette smokers correlated with craving, smoking a cigarette led to reduced craving but an increased approach bias score. We discuss a possible account of these findings in terms of an ideomotor outcome-response priming mechanism.

Table of Contents
Approach Avoidance Task (AAT)
Picture Rating Task
Statistical Analyses

Correspondence to
Poppy Watson, Weesperplein 4, 1018 XA Amsterdam.

Addiction, Approach bias, Motivation, Goal-directed Action, Habit, Ideomotor, Pavlovian-instrumental transfer.

Received 6 Jul 2012; Revised 19 Oct 2012; Accepted 19 Oct 2012; In Press 13 May 2013

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