Risky decision making in smoking and nonsmoking college students: Examination of Iowa Gambling Task performance by deck type selections

Abstract

The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) is used to assess risky decision making in clinical and nonclinical populations. Recent studies have begun to assess performance on the IGT not by number of advantageous and disadvantageous selections, but rather by the pattern of performance on each of the four individual decks (A, B, C, and D). The present study sought to further examine deck selection patterns among smoking and nonsmoking college students, as mixed results have been found on the IGT in nicotine and as a function of substance satiation level. Participants were 136 undergraduates (48 male; mean age 19.24 years), of whom 70 were nonsmokers. Thirty-one smokers abstained from smoking overnight. Performance on the IGT was broken into two blocks (Trials 1-40, Trials 41-100) for each of the four decks. Abstinent smokers selected more from Deck A on Block 2 than the ad libitum smokers. No group or block differences were found for Decks B or C. Selections from Deck D increased as the task progressed, regardless of smoking status. Ad libitum smokers preferred Deck B to Deck A on Block 2. The results provide some evidence that nicotine satiation level affects IGT deck selections among smokers.

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