The Face of Ambivalence: Simultaneous Expressions of Positive and Negative Emotions During Cue-elicited Craving in Heavy Smokers

by Griffin, Kasey Marie

Abstract (Summary)
This study used the Facial Action Coding System (FACS; P. Ekman & W. V. Friesen, 1978) to examine abstinent smokers immediate facial responses while exposed to smoking cues. The aim was to investigate potential associations between facial expressions thought to be linked to ambivalence and more traditional measures of ambivalence about their smoking habits. Ambivalence during cue exposure was operationalized as the simultaneous occurrence of positive and negative affect-related facial expressions. Thirty-four nicotine-deprived dependent smokers were presented with in vivo smoking cues, and their facial expressions were coded with the FACS; participants also completed self-report measures related to ambivalence about smoking. Smokers who displayed ambivalent facial expressions during smoking cue exposure reported significantly higher scores on three out of four measures of smoking ambivalence than did those who did not display ambivalent facial expressions. This effect was unique to those smokers displaying simultaneous positive and negative affect-related facial expressions, and the effect was not demonstrated in smokers displaying just positive, just negative, or sequential instances of positive and negative affect-related expressions.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Eric Donny, PhD; Jeffrey Cohn, PhD; Michael Sayette, PhD

School:University of Pittsburgh

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:01/17/2008

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