Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 34, Issue 1, pp 93–103 | Cite as

Assessment of tobacco craving by means of the affective image visualization paradigm

  • Miguel Ángel Muñoz
  • Ma Isabel Viedma-del-Jesus
  • Ma Carmen Fernández-Santaella
  • Ma Isabel Peralta-Ramírez
  • Antonio Cepeda-Benito
  • Jaime Vila
Original Paper


Smoking cues that increase craving are subjectively described by smokers as pleasant rather than unpleasant. However, it remains controversial whether the motivational nature of these smoking cues is consistent with an appetitive or aversion-relief model of tobacco craving. In the two studies presented here, the Bioinformational model of emotion proposed by Lang was used to address this issue. In study I, 40 smokers (10 males) assessed a set of tobacco-related pictures and a subset of standard pleasant, neutral, and unpleasant pictures in order to examine how craving relates to the three general dimensions of emotion: valence, arousal, and dominance. Results showed that the tobacco-related images were all assessed as appetitive, and craving was correlated positively with valence (r = .863, p < .0001) and arousal (r = .923, p < .0001) and negatively with dominance (r = −.504, p < .002). In study II, 24 female abstinent smokers were examined using Lang’s startle modulation paradigm in order to assess whether tobacco-related pictures, compared to standard pleasant and unpleasant ones, inhibited the startle response, consistent with an appetitive model of tobacco craving. Contrary to expectations, the startle response during visualization of tobacco-related pictures was more similar in magnitude to the response to unpleasant than to pleasant images, a finding inconsistent with an appetitive model of tobacco craving.


Craving Tobacco Emotion Startle modulation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Miguel Ángel Muñoz
    • 1
  • Ma Isabel Viedma-del-Jesus
    • 1
  • Ma Carmen Fernández-Santaella
    • 1
  • Ma Isabel Peralta-Ramírez
    • 1
  • Antonio Cepeda-Benito
    • 2
  • Jaime Vila
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of PsychologyUniversity of GranadaGranadaSpain
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyTexas A&M UniversityCollege StationUSA

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