Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Thomas Brandon, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jonathan Rottenberg, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Joseph Vandello, Ph.D.


Craving, Emotion Clarity, Emotion Differentiation, Nicotine Dependence


Negative affect plays a critical role in nicotine dependence. Smokers report feeling that negative affect is a primary motivation to keep smoking. This study examined the relationship between individual differences in emotional experience, in particular emotional clarity and differentiation (individuals' ability to understand, describe, and differentiate between emotions), and smoking motivation. We hypothesized that emotional clarity would be related to affect, craving, and smoking satisfaction. A second goal was to test the ability of an emotional-labeling intervention to reduce negative affect and smoking motivation resulting from a negative emotion induction. We also tested whether emotional clarity moderated the effect of the negative affect manipulation upon smoking-related variables. We hypothesized that emotional clarity would moderate the effect of the emotional-labeling manipulation upon affect, craving, and smoking satisfaction. A correlational and two-group between-subjects design was used. Participants (170 participants; 86 males) first completed baseline measures, then received a mood induction (via video). They then were randomized to one of two conditions (emotion labeling and writing control). Results indicate that emotional clarity was related to affect, craving, and smoking satisfaction ratings, such as those higher on emotional clarity reported more positive affect, less cravings, and having experienced aversive effects after smoking. We found no effect of the emotional labeling task. Although we replicated findings from previous studies showing a relationship between emotional clarity and mood, this study is the first to establish such a relationship with craving for a cigarette and aspects of smoking satisfaction.

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