An idiographic approach to understanding personality structure and individual differences among smokers

William G. Shadel, Raymond Niaura, David B. Abrams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We present a social-cognitive theory which requires an idiographic assessment of individual differences in personality structure among smokers, and contrast this approach to traditional nomothetic trait approaches. A sample of 15 regular smokers completed idiographic assessment procedures designed to tap into three cognitive structures (smoker self-schema, abstainer ideal-possible self, abstainer ought-possible self) which are proposed to regulate individual differences in smoking behavior, coping behavior, and finally smoking cessation. Support for the idiographic approach was found. The three cognitive structures were distinguishable from one another, and had properties that self-schema are proposed to hold, and intraindividual patterns of schematic responding across situations were stable and predictable phenomena. These findings are not consistent with a nomothetic trait approach. We discuss the implications of these results for individual-differences assessment among smokers and suggest avenues for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)345-359
Number of pages15
JournalCognitive Therapy and Research
Volume24
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2000

Keywords

  • Idiographic
  • Individual differences
  • Personality
  • Smoking
  • Social-cognitive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Clinical Psychology

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