Effects of Smoking Urge on Temporal Cognition

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The authors examined temporal aspects of smoking urge. In Experiment 1, smokers assigned to high- or low-urge conditions were informed they would be allowed to smoke in 2.5 min. They next completed measures of time perception. High-urge smokers reported 45 s to pass significantly more slowly than did low-urge smokers. In Experiment 2, the high-urge smokers from Experiment 1 anticipated that their urges would climb steadily over the next 45 min if they were not permitted to smoke. Another group of high-urge smokers actually reported their urges over 45 min. These urge ratings did not show the steady rise anticipated by the first group. Results suggest that smoking urge may affect time perception and that craving smokers overpredict the duration and intensity of their own future smoking urges if they abstain.

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