Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Clinical Psychology, PhD




Psychology Department

Faculty Advisor

Matthew Jerram, PhD

Second Advisor

Amy Janes, PhD

Third Advisor

Lance Swenson, PhD


Quitting smoking remains an on-going challenging for many cigarette smokers. Numerous individualized characteristics have been suggested as predictors for successful smoking abstinence. One such factor requiring further investigation is reward responsivity, given that individuals with addiction show behavioral and neurobiological alterations in reward function.This study used previously collected data from 122 daily smokers to investigate whether individuals willing to abstain from smoking in exchange for money would display increased reward responsivity during a baseline, non-abstinent visit, relative to individuals who smoked immediately. Participants Probabilistic Reward Task (PRT) performance was used to measure reward responsivity to monetary rewards and a laboratory-based measures of abstinence called the Relapse Analogue Task (RAT) was used to evaluate whether individuals are willing to abstain from smoking in exchange for money. The PRT was analyzed using both traditional analyses and a more fine-grained computational model: Hierarchical Drift Diffusion Modeling (HDDM). Participants fell into 2 groups based on a bimodal distribution of smoking immediately (0-minute waiters) or abstaining the full duration of the RAT (50-minute waiters) and were compared on standard and HDDM PRT measures of reward responsivity. Results showed that 0-minute and 50-minute waiters did not differ on standard nor HDDM measures of reward responsivity, however, 50-minute waiters showed higher values than 0-minute waiters for both standard and HDDM measures of perceptual processing, which were used as control variables. These results suggest individuals who are more likely to abstain from smoking have better perceptual processing abilities, which may be linked to underlying dopaminergic function.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License



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