Impulsivity is Important • Involved in every major system of personality • Vital role in the understanding & diagnosis of psychopathology: - DSM IV – “impulse control disorders” - Criteria for BPD, ASPD, ADHD etc • Involved in “etiologic” theories of psychopathy, crime and substance use It is so important…yet within psychology there is a huge variety of different, inconsistent conceptualisations… Personality theories that include Impulsivity Eysenck and Eysenck’s N, E, P Impulsivity is sub divided into: 1.Narrow impulsiveness (N, P) 2.Risk taking (E) 3.non-planning (E) 4.liveliness (E) Propose that 2 components, Venturesomeness (E) and impulsivity (P) Buss and Plomin (1975) • Impulsivity, part of their 4 factor model of temperament. – Inhibitory control* – Consideration of alternatives/consequences – Ignore competing temptations – Tendency to become bored, novelty seeking These temperaments do influence behaviour Zuckerman & co (1991) • alternative 5 factor model of personality including “impulsive sensation seeking” - similar to NEO (C) and EPQ (P) Cloninger “psychological underpinning of behaviour” • 4 temperament scales, one being Novelty Seeking (contains impulsivity). • seen more as pre-conceptual automatic response Tellegen’s 3 high order factors determines the manner and intensity people respond to emotional stimuli. 1. + Emotionality 2. - Emotionality 3. Constraint (control vs. impulsiveness scale) Previous theories of impulsiveness Barratt & Co. Impulsivity – 3 factors 1. Attentional impulsivity* 2. Motor impulsivity* 3. Non-planning Newman & Co. Gray's neuropsychological model + Eysenck's system of personality = 3 pathways of impulsivity 1. Normal impulsivity : BAS>BIS x NSA – neurotic extrovert pattern 2. Anxious impulsivity : BAS<BIS x NSA – neurotic introvert pattern 3. “P constraint” – psychopaths response to competing reward and punishment Dickman (1990) 2-D theory of impulsivity Information processing approach to impulsivity which has + & - consequences 1.Functional (enthusiasm, adventuresome…) 2.Dysfunctional (disorderliness, ignoring facts…) This Study… aims to understand the construct of impulsivity by analysing, within the framework of a well-validated personality model, a variety of commonly used impulsive measures. 5 factor Model framework, facets capture some aspects… Neuroticism: Self control Conscientiousness: Self discipline, deliberation Extraversion: Excitement seeking Method • Participants: 437 undergraduates • Measures: • Items were adapted to a four-point Likert-type format ranging from one to four. • They used a variety of commonly used impulsivity measures: 1) EASI-III Impulsivity Scales • self-report measure designed by Buss and Plomin to reflect their four temperament theory of personality. • Only used items on four impulsivity subscales (inhibitory control, decision time, sensation seeking, and persistence subscales). 2) Dickman's Functional and Dysfunctional Impulsivity Scales • two dimensional conception of impulsivity. • functional impulsivity (e.g. Most of the time I can put my thoughts into words very rapidly) • dysfunctional impulsivity (e.g. Often I don't spend enough time thinking over a situation before I act). 3) Barratt Impulsiveness Scale-11 (BIS-11) It is made up of three subscales: • attentional impulsiveness (e.g. I get easily bored when solving thought problems) • motor impulsiveness (e.g. I do things without thinking) • non-planning impulsiveness (e.g. I am more interested in the present than the future). 4) I-7 Impulsiveness Questionnaire (I-7) 5) Personality Research Form Impulsivity Scale (PRF) 6) Multidimensional Personality Questionnaire Control Scale (MPQ) 7) Temperament and Character Inventory (TCI) • self-report inventory based on Cloninger's psychobiological model of personality. • Included only the eight- item novelty seeking subscale of impulsiveness vs reflection (e.g. I often react so strongly to unexpected news that I say or do things that I regret) 8) Sensation Seeking Scale (SSS) • Disinhibition boredom susceptibility 9) Additional ``impulsiveness'' items • Pilot work suggested that items dealing with the ``impulsiveness'' aspect (e.g., strong cravings) of impulsivity were missing. • fourteen additional items were created • Examples: ``When I feel bad I will often do things I later regret in order to make myself feel better now'', ``I only act rashly when I am upset'', and ``It is hard for me to resist acting on my feelings''. 10) Revised NEO Personality Inventory (NEO-PI-R) • neuroticism, • extraversion, • conscientiousness. Results Identified 4 meanings of impulsivity: 1) (lack of) Premeditation • was captured in scales that assess the tendency to delay action in favor of careful thinking and planning. 2) Urgency • a tendency to commit rash or regrettable actions as a result of intense negative affect. • The scales reflecting this factor include items related to an inability to resist cravings, binging, and acting rashly while upset. 3) Sensation Seeking • was comprised of scales measuring the tendency to seek excitement and adventure. 4) (lack of) Perseverance. • includes scales that assess one's ability to remain with a task until completion and avoid boredom. • Following the initial factor identification, scales to measure each of the personality facets were created and combined to form the UPPS Impulsive Behavior scale. • This had 45 items measuring the four factors. • Each factor had 10-12 items. Relation between impulsivity scales and NEO facets • Explored through a joint factor analysis. • A three-factor solution accounted for 59% of the variation in the scales. • The factor structure clearly mapped onto the structure of the three domains of the NEO-PI-R: • Factor 1 was comprised of (lack of) premeditation, (lack of) perseverance, and all six facets of conscientiousness. • Factor 2 was comprised of sensation seeking and all six facets of extraversion. • Factor 3 was comprised of urgency and all six facets of neuroticism. Main Conclusions • Factor analysis revealed a robust four factor solution corresponding to the four traits related to impulsivity on the NEO-PI. • Impulsivity is made up of four distinct personality facets. • These are not variations of impulsivity, but distinct psychological processes that lead to impulsive behaviors. The four facets of impulsivity • Urgency- experience strong impulses under conditions of negative affect. • (lack of) Premeditation- act on the spur of the moment. • (lack of) Perseverance- difficulty staying focused on tasks that are ‘boring’ or ‘difficult’. • Sensation Seeking- enjoy and pursue risky and exciting experiences. How does this relate to the FFM? • Urgency linked to Neuroticism • (lack of) Premeditation and (lack of) Perseverance linked to Conscientiousness • Sensation Seeking linked to Extraversion Possible links to psychopathology • Urgency- BPD, bulimia. • (lack of) Premeditation- antisocial personality disorder, dementia, psychopathy. • (lack of) Perseverance- ADHD. • Sensation Seeking- substance use disorders. • Impulsivity is an ‘artificial umbrella term’. • It actually encompasses 4 distinct facets of personality associated with impulsive behavior.
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