Showing posts from August, 2011

Smoking cessation as a result of a natural experiment - linking smoking to seasickness

In Stanley Kubrick's film A Clockwork Orange (based on the novel by Anthony Burgess ), the protagonist, Alex, undergoes operant conditioning , or aversion therapy , to modify his (ultra)violent tendencies. He's forced to watch film clips with violent scenes while drugged, and thus develops a strong negative response to violence. The movie and the novel raise questions about the morality of such treatments while at the same time illustrating their efficacy. I had an analogous experience where something of this sort happened to me - really quite by accident - and I always thought it was an interesting bit of psychology/physiology and, unlike the scenario depicted in the movie and the novel, there are no troubling moral issues. This is because at the age of 18, I developed a strong association between cigarette smoking and seasickness, with the net result that I haven't touched another cigarette for going on 40 years. Moreover, I retain strong negative associations to ev