Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Quitting smoking enhances personality change

Date:
September 13, 2011
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
Researchers have found evidence that shows those who quit smoking show improvements in their overall personality.

University of Missouri researchers have found evidence that shows those who quit smoking show improvements in their overall personality.

"The data indicate that for some young adults smoking is impulsive," said Andrew Littlefield, a doctoral student in the Department of Psychology in the College of Arts and Science. "That means that 18-year-olds are acting without a lot of forethought and favor immediate rewards over long term negative consequences. They might say, 'I know smoking is bad for me, but I'm going to do it anyway.' However, we find individuals who show the most decreases in impulsivity also are more likely quit smoking. If we can target anti-smoking efforts at that impulsivity, it may help the young people stop smoking."

In the study, MU researchers compared people, aged 18-35, who smoked with those who had quit smoking. They found that individuals who smoked were higher in two distinct personality traits during young adulthood:

  • impulsivity -- acting without thinking about the consequences
  • neuroticism -- being emotionally negative and anxious, most of the time

Littlefield found that those with higher levels of impulsivity and neuroticism were more likely to engage in detrimental behaviors, such as smoking. However, Littlefield also found that those who quit smoking had the biggest declines in impulsivity and neuroticism from ages 18 to 25.

"Smokers at age 18 had higher impulsivity rates than non-smokers at age 18, and those who quit tended to display the steepest declines in impulsivity between ages 18 and 25," Littlefield said. "However, as a person ages and continues to smoke, smoking becomes part of a regular behavior pattern and less impulsive. The motives for smoking later in life -- habit, craving, loss of control and tolerance -- are key elements of smoking dependence and appear to be more independent of personality traits."

Despite the evidence from this study, substance use is still a complex relationship of genetic and environmental factors, Littlefield said.

The study, "Smoking Desistance and Personality Change in Emerging and Young Adulthood," has been accepted by the journal Nicotine and Tobacco Research. The study was co-authored by Kenneth J. Sher, a professor in the MU Department of Psychology.

Littlefield says the tobacco use study will contribute to ongoing research on the relationship between personality and substance abuse. He recently received a $30,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to study genetic influences on personality and alcohol drinking motives.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "Quitting smoking enhances personality change." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 September 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110912152915.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2011, September 13). Quitting smoking enhances personality change. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110912152915.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "Quitting smoking enhances personality change." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/09/110912152915.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) A study by King's College London says there's a link between how well kids draw at age 4 and how intelligent they are later in life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mental, Neurological Disabilities Up 21% Among Kids

Mental, Neurological Disabilities Up 21% Among Kids

Newsy (Aug. 18, 2014) New numbers show a decade's worth of changes in the number of kids with disabilities. They suggest mental disabilities are up; physical ones are down. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins