This Behavioral Science Track Award for Rapid Transition (B/START) (R03) proposal requests one year of support to conduct a short-term randomized experiment on a sample of adult Internet users who are also smokers. Though many prevention and intervention programs use a one-size-fits-all approach for smoking, research on personality suggests that individually tailored approaches might be more effective. In this project, we will look at ways to facilitate smoking cessation for smokers who are motivated to quit smoking by gradual reduction of number of cigarettes they have daily. The main objective is to determine whether matching graphical feedback to individuals'regulatory focus improves their expectations of success for quitting smoking, self-efficacy and nicotine dependence. We will also investigate moderating and mediating effects of various variables, e.g. baseline motivation to quit and baseline level of nicotine dependence. The current project is the first attempt 1) to influence the current smokers'attitude and behavior by tailoring intervention to their regulatory focus;2) to achieve tailoring not by framing a persuasive message but by adopting a graphical presentation of self-monitoring information. This research program is theoretically and methodologically based on preliminary findings on tailoring graphical feedback to individual's regulatory focus to facilitate healthy weight management. The results collected in this project will lead to the development of an R01 application that would collect longitudinal data to investigate the effects of self-monitoring, graphical data representation and manipulated regulatory focus on biochemical assessments of smoking behavior and eventually lead to the development of smoking cessation self-treatment intervention. The findings from this proposed research project will provide a deeper understanding of the effects of self-monitoring on excessive behavior patterns including, but not limited to, smoking addiction and potentially lead to development of low-cost, self-administered interventions for preventing and ameliorating addictive behavior.
This project will investigate the role of regulatory focus in motivating people to control their smoking behavior. The primary goal of the proposed project is to explore the relationship between how personal self-monitoring data is presented (i.e., goal versus baseline-oriented) and the interpretation of that data by individuals with different regulatory focus. This advanced understanding can lead to more focused targets for prevention and intervention.