Intolerance of uncertainty and conditioned place preference in opioid addiction

Milen L. Radell, Michael Todd Allen, Belinda Favaloro, Catherine E. Myers, Paul Haber, Kirsten Morley, Ahmed A. Moustafa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
37 Downloads (Pure)


Several personality factors have been implicated in vulnerability to addiction by impact- ing learning and decision making. One such factor is intolerance of uncertainty (IU), the tendency to perceive uncertain situations negatively and avoid them. Conditioned place preference (CPP), which compares preference for contexts paired with reward, has been used to examine the motivation for both drug and non-drug rewards. However, preference for locations associated with non-drug reward, as well as the potential influence of IU, has not been thoroughly studied in individuals with addiction. In the current study, we examined CPP using a computer-based task in a sample of addicted individuals undergoing opioid maintenance treatment and never-addicted controls. Patients were confirmed to have higher IU than controls. In the CPP task, the two groups did not differ in overall time spent in the previously-rewarded context. However, controls were more likely than patients to immediately return to this context. Contrary to our predictions, IU was not a significant predictor of preference for the previously- rewarded context, although higher IU in controls was associated with a higher number of rewards obtained in the task. No such relationship was found in patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere4775
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


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