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Do Cigarettes Calm People Down Many people say that a cigarette will calm them down but is that the case or is it the nicotine in a cigarette limits the ability of the human brain to focus on more than one thing at a time In Jon D Kassels study of the affects of nicotine he tried to prove that nicotine doesnt make the problem go away it just temporally distracts attention from the problem giving the person a false sense of calmness A two-part hypothesis was developed by Jon D Kassel and Marina Unrod based on the previous findings of Kassel and Shiffman Part one of this hypothesis stated that those who exhibit higher levels of anxiety may show a stronger response to a combination of nicotine and distraction Part two stated that on the contrary those who exhibit higher levels of anxiety may be less apt to respond and more resistant to the combination of nicotine and distracting influences In Kassels study he used the cognitive perspective by playing on the role on the mental processes of his subjects Kassel used William James idea of functionalism in his experiment Functionalism is the study of the purpose or function of behavior or mental experiences This falls under the category of functionalism because the study itself relies on both behavior of the individual and the mental experiences that they manipulated through the study The cognitive perspective is demonstrated in this experiment by the fact that Kassel focused on the manner in which mental processes are redirected by a given set of circumstances The circumstances in this experiment were that smokers could redirect their attention away from an anxiety-causing problem with the use of nicotine provided in cigarettes In Kassels experiment he asked sixty-seven participants to prepare and read an embarrassing speech about themselves The subjects in his experiment were all constant smokers for at least two years The subjects were assigned a small cubical
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