Study of Substance Cravings versus Ordinary Urges – UROP Spring Symposium 2021

Study of Substance Cravings versus Ordinary Urges

Corinne Packel


Research Mentor(s): Sekhar Sripada, Associate Professor
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Psychiatry/Philosophy, Michigan Medicine
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 1 (10am-10:50am)
Breakout Room: Room 14
Presenter: 2

Event Link


Smoking addiction is one of the most widely studied phenomena, yet the characteristics of urges to smoke are not widely understood. This research project focused on comparing the severity of smoking urges to the severity of everyday cravings such as the urge to eat unhealthy foods. As these everyday cravings are experienced by most people, it offered a great mode of comparison to gain a more nuanced understanding of smoking cravings. We found participants on an online forum who experienced cigarette cravings and participants who experienced unhealthy food cravings to report their urges on a variety of different scales indicating the intensity of craving, the frequency of their cravings, and more. In our preliminary research, we found that cigarette craving strength means across a variety of studies was only a little over .5, which was not as high as we had originally predicted that urges to smoke would be. We hypothesize that results will show that the strength of smoking cravings are actually more similar to everyday cravings than one might think. These results may help clinicians understand the smoking addiction and the intensity of smoking cravings and help with treatment strategies.

Authors: Corinne Packel
Research Method: Community Based Research

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