Psychology of Impulsivity

Jim H. Patton, Matthew S. Stanford

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

5 Scopus citations


Impulsive behavior is generally viewed as counterproductive by society, and individual differences in impulsivity have been found to be related to a number of socially relevant behaviors. Yet, there are times when acting quickly and without thinking may seem desirable, even adaptive. With the possible exception of intelligence, no other personality dimension or trait so broadly influences various areas of human endeavor: interpersonal relationships, education, fiscal responsibility, personal moral behavior, business ethics and entrepreneurship, aggression, and criminality. This chapter gives an overview of impulsivity from a personality theory perspective. Topics discussed include the historical development of the construct, the place of impulsivity in a broader personality theory, selfreport and behavioral assessment, and the role of impulsiveness in impulse control disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Impulse Control Disorders
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199940431
ISBN (Print)9780195389715
StatePublished - Sep 18 2012


  • Barratt
  • Behavioral disinhibition
  • Delayed discounting
  • Eysenck
  • Impulse control
  • Impulsive personality
  • Impulsivity self-report measures
  • Nonplanning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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