Psychologists conducted a study in which students were asked to report whenever they felt a craving and how strong was their need for cigarettes, before reporting back in 15 minutes.
Half of the study subjects were given an iPad to play Tetris between the reports. The results showed that the cigarette cravings were reduced by fifth.
The scientists from Plymouth University found that playing Tetris engages the identical mental processes as when one imagines indulging in the craving.
The study which lasted for about a week, also involved Queensland University of Technology, Australia, and was focused on 31 undergraduates with age between 18 and 27.
″This is the first demonstration that cognitive interference can be used outside the lab to reduce cravings for substances and activities other than eating.″, says Professor Jackie Andrade, of Plymouth University.
Dying for a cigarette? Have a game of Tetris!
″We think the Tetris effect happens because craving involves imagining the experience of consuming a particular substance.″
″Playing a visually interesting game like Tetris occupies the mental processes that support that imagery. It is hard to imagine something vividly and play Tetris at the same time.″
In addition, Professor Jon May, also of Plymouth University, also added: ″The impact of Tetris on craving was consistent across the week and on all craving types.″
″People played the game 40 times on average but the effect did not seem to wear off.″
″This finding is potentially important because an intervention that worked solely because it was novel and unusual would have diminishing benefits over time as participants became familiar with it.″
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Source: Daily Mail
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