Modification of smoking behavior with an aversion-desensitization procedure

Paul Gerson, Richard I. Lanyon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Conducted a study with 7 male and 14 female volunteer college students and staff members with a mean cigarette consumption of more than 2 packs daily. Ss were given Lanyon..s Psychological Screening Inventory and MMPI subscales to screen for psychiatric difficulty and dishonesty in self-report. Ss then received 10 hr. of group treatment of covert sensitization followed either by systematic desensitization to the discomfort associated with not smoking or by general group discussion. A refundable $20 deposit eliminated attrition. Both treatments resulted in greater than 50% decrease in smoking. At a 13-wk follow-up, both groups were tending toward their pretreatment smoking rate, although Ss given desensitization were still smoking significantly less than originally. A bimodal split in the effectiveness of treatment for this group suggests the need for further study. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)399-402
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of consulting and clinical psychology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 1972


  • aversion-desensitization procedures, smoking behavior decrease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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