There is evidence from self-report measures which suggests that young women dieters find cigarette smoking less rewarding than non-dieters. We aimed to further elucidate differences between dieters and non-dieters in their evaluation of smoking using a behavioural measure of drug reward. Thirty female undergraduates attended two sessions (cigarette deprived and non-deprived). A computer-based progressive ratio operant procedure was employed to assess the amount of effort that participants were willing to expend to gain a puff on a cigarette. The point at which responding ceased was taken as a measure of drug reward (breakpoint). Self-report measures of sensory/hedonic aspects of smoking were also completed. The breakpoints of both dieters and non-dieters were greater under deprived than non-deprived conditions but the breakpoints of dieters were significantly lower than those of the non-dieting smokers under both conditions. Self-reported enjoyment of smoking was lower for dieters than non-dieters and reports for non-dieters but not dieters were affected by deprivation level. Both behavioural and self-report measures of rewarding aspects of smoking suggest that young women dieters find smoking less rewarding than non-dieters, but self-report measures are more resistant to deprivation effects for dieters. This is consistent with the suggestion that subjective and behavioural measures assess different dimensions of the rewarding effects of smoking.
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- dietary disinhibition
- dietary restraint
- weight control