Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. R. Wayne Fuqua

Second Advisor

Dr. Frederick Gault

Third Advisor

Dr. Jack Michael

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This experiment attempted to replicate previously reported research (DeRicco, Brigham, and Garlington, 1977) which demonstrated smoking suppression using contingent shock. A multiple-baseline across subjects design was employed to assess experimental control. A heterogeneous group of five males and two females ranging in age from 19 to 61 years, participated in the experiment. Subjects attended 30 minute treatment sessions conducted 5 days per week, Monday thru Friday, where 25 shocks were delivered on an unpredictable, variable interval schedule contingent upon the subject lighting a cigarette, holding a burning cigarette and/or smoking a cigarette. Treatment continued for a minimum of 3 weeks or 15 sessions or until abstinence was achieved. One of seven subjects achieved completed abstinence which was maintained over a 3 month period. Four subjects showed initial reductions in smoking rate with only one of those subjects demonstrating a sustained treatments effect at 3 month followup. The two remaining subjects showed no change in rate of smoking as a result of the treatment program. Possible reasons for the failure to replicate were discussed. Anecdotal evidence was presented which intimated several inherent weaknesses or flaws of the treatment method. A model of smoking behavior was described followed by suggestions for further research in the area of smoking suppression.