Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Prospective memory (PM) refers to the ability to successfully remember an intention to be carried out in the future. The current study investigated the effects of cigarette smoking and nicotine withdrawal on PM. Smokers were randomly assigned to one of two conditions: nondeprived or deprived of nicotine for the 24-hours preceding the appointment. Nonsmokers were included for comparison. To mimic the experience of smokers during cessation attempts and to assess the potential additive effect of withdrawal, all smokers engaged in a cue reactivity task with the intent of increasing craving to comparable levels across the smoker groups. Despite equivalent use of memory strategies between groups, all 3 subscales of the self-report PM measure were significantly different between smokers and nonsmokers. Contrary to hypotheses, nondeprived smokers, not deprived smokers, demonstrated the lowest levels of PM across measures. As predicted, nonsmokers demonstrated the highest levels of PM performance across all measures. Withdrawal appeared to negatively influence lexical decisions and reaction times. Computerized PM performance did not correlate with self-reported everyday PM failures, and affect was related only to the self-report PM not the computerized tasks. Results suggest that PM impairment is related to smoking, but is not worsened by withdrawal, and point toward a potential mechanism through which coping response execution failures occur during cessation attempts.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Amy L. Copeland



Included in

Psychology Commons