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Social cognitions and smoking behaviour: Temporal resolution matters


Brinken, L and Schuz, B and Ferguson, SG and Scholz, U and Schuz, N, Social cognitions and smoking behaviour: Temporal resolution matters, British Journal of Health Psychology pp. 1-18. ISSN 1359-107X (2019) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

© 2019 The British Psychological Society

DOI: doi:10.1111/bjhp.12402


Objectives: Health behaviour theories outline how cognitions predict behaviours, but rarely specify the temporal relation between cognitions and behaviours. It is not known whether these predictive relationships vary depending on temporal resolution or whether the relative influence of cognitions varies with measurement schedules.The current exploratory study therefore investigates whether the associations between behavioural cognitions (self-efficacy, intention, and risk perception) and smoking vary when measured momentarily, at day level, or using the more common baseline–follow-up design.

Design: study involving 36 continuing smokers over 17 days. Participants logged cigarettes and reported their cognitions at baseline, daily (evening), and in response to momentary surveys.

Methods: Random-effects models were used to compare the effects of cognitions measured at different time points on (1) the number of cigarettes smoked daily and (2) the time interval until the next cigarette smoked.

Results: Self-efficacy and risk perception measured at baseline significantly predicted cigarettes smoked each day, but this effect became non-significant when daily measurements of cognitions were included in the model. Momentary smoking behaviour was predicted by momentary measurements of risk perception, with no significant effects of social cognitions at baseline.

Conclusions: Relationships between cognitions and behaviours vary according to the temporal resolution of the measurement schedule. Ensuring that the temporal resolution of assessment is appropriate for the temporal dynamics of the behaviour being assessed is important. Future research is needed to investigate the potential for leveraging specific cognitive processes depending on temporal importance in order to increase healthpromoting behaviours.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:smoking cessation, measurement, EMA, cognitive processes, cognition- behaviour, ecological momentary assessment, smoking, social cognition, temporal resolution
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Clinical and health psychology
Research Field:Health psychology
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Behaviour and health
UTAS Author:Brinken, L (Ms Lillian Brinken)
UTAS Author:Schuz, B (Dr Benjamin Schuez)
UTAS Author:Ferguson, SG (Professor Stuart Ferguson)
UTAS Author:Schuz, N (Dr Natalie Schuez)
ID Code:136265
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Medicine
Deposited On:2019-12-11
Last Modified:2020-05-11

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