Accessibility and availability of smoking-related associations in smokers

K S Leung, C G McCusker, Chris McCusker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


A free association test was used in the present study to examine the availability and accessibility of positive vs negative smoking-related information in the long-term memories of smokers. Participants were asked to generate smoking-related associations across a 4-minute interval. Although smokers generated more positive smoking-associations than non-smokers, both groups produced a greater number of negative than positive associations per se. Of particular interest was the finding that whilst the ratio of positive/negative associations generated was constant across time in non-smokers, this ratio varied in smokers. Specifically, smokers generated proportionately more of their available positive associations and proportionately less of their negative associations in the early time interval. It is suggested that these results not only indicate a greater availability of positive smoking-associations in smokers compared to non-smokers, but also a greater accessibility too. It is proposed that positive smoking associations are more automatically activated than negative associations in smokers, even though they have generally more negative associations available.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)213-226
Number of pages14
JournalAddiction Research and Theory
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1999


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