Decisional balance measure for assessing and predicting smoking status

J Pers Soc Psychol. 1985 May;48(5):1279-89. doi: 10.1037//0022-3514.48.5.1279.


The Decisional Balance Sheet of Incentives has been proposed by Janis and Mann (1977) as a general schema for representing both the cognitive and motivational aspects of human decision making. In this study, a brief 24-item paper and pencil measure was constructed to study the decision-making process in smoking cessation. Two scales were identified and labeled the Pros of Smoking and the Cons of Smoking. These scales were successful in differentiating between five groups representing stages of change in the quitting process. The two scales were also successful when employed as predictors of smoking status at a 6-month follow-up. The Decisional Balance Scale appears to be a powerful construct of potentially wide application in behavior change.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude to Health
  • Decision Making*
  • Humans
  • Motivation
  • Smoking*