The construct of impulsivity can be broadly defined as the tendency to behave in rash, ill-advised ways that meet an immediate need at the expense of long-term interests or goals. Impulsivity appears to play a role in many mental health diagnoses, including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, borderline personality disorder, substance use disorder, and many other forms of dysfunction. In fact, impulsivity is involved in more mental health diagnoses than any other construct except for negative affect. A crucial challenge for researchers has been to identify the psychological contributors to the tendency to engage in impulsive behavior.

One of the most important advances in this regard was driven by a fundamental shift in the way impulsivity itself is perceived. After many years of trying to understand a single, ...

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