College-student smoking: An initial test of an experiential dissonance-enhancing intervention

Vani Nath Simmons, Monica S. Webb, Thomas H. Brandon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


This study was designed as an initial test of whether an experiential learning intervention, based on cognitive dissonance theory, would increase college-student smokers' intentions to quit smoking. One hundred forty-four college smokers were asked to prepare educational videos about (1) the risks of smoking or (2) the feasibility of quitting (in a 2×2 factorial design). Main effects for the experimental manipulations were not found. However, an interaction suggested that intentions to quit smoking were increased by either manipulation, but that the effects were not additive. In addition, risk perceptions were increased by the health-risk manipulation alone, but not when quitting feasibility was also targeted. As predicted, smoking history and smoking-related expectancies were both correlated with magnitude of dissonance. Moreover, dissonance magnitude was associated with the reported use of dissonance-reducing strategies, including intending to quit smoking and believing that tobacco use was out of their control due to nicotine addiction. The findings from this initial analogue study suggest that attitudes and intentions to quit smoking can be influenced by a brief experiential intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1129-1136
Number of pages8
JournalAddictive Behaviors
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 2004


  • Cognitive dissonance
  • College students
  • Intervention
  • Tobacco smoking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Clinical Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'College-student smoking: An initial test of an experiential dissonance-enhancing intervention'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this