Attentional Bias in Non-Smokers Who Use an Electronic Cigarette
AdvisorMcGrath, Daniel S.
AuthorFitzpatrick, Chelsea Louise
Committee MemberSears, Christopher R.
Campbell, Tavis S.
Stea, Jonathan N.
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractElectronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have been gaining popularity in recent years and are now being used in large numbers by youth who smoke tobacco cigarettes as well as among youths who do not smoke. Previous research has indicated that substance users can develop attentional biases towards stimuli related to their use. Yet, the existence of attentional biases among users of e-cigarettes remains largely unexplored. Using a sample of non-smokers, the present study examined whether e-cigarette users develop an attentional bias toward e-cigarette stimuli and whether this can be transferred to traditional cigarette stimuli. Using eye-gaze tracking to identify attentional biases, it was found that e-cigarette users significantly differed in comparison to controls in terms of the average amount of time that they attended to e-cigarette stimuli. However, e-cigarette users did not preferentially attend to e-cigarette stimuli over neutral stimuli. Furthermore, e-cigarette users did not attend more to smoking stimuli over neutral stimuli. Rather, e-cigarette users appeared to avoid smoking cues. The results of this study indicate that e-cigarette users’ attention towards e-cigarettes is increased in comparison to non-users, which may have implications as to how they react to e-cigarette cues in real-world settings.
CitationFitzpatrick, C. L. (2019). Attentional Bias in Non-Smokers Who Use an Electronic Cigarette (Unpublished master's thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.
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