The term impulsivity means acting without thinking about the consequences of these actions. For example, a child may grab a cookie even though his mother has told him to wait until after dinner. An adult may blurt out a critical comment that hurts another person’s feelings or elicits angry retaliation. Across the human life span, inhibitory or impulse control is needed to behave appropriately in most environments. Inhibitory processes keep inappropriate or harmful behaviors under control. Conversely, deficient inhibition fuels behaviors that satisfy momentary impulses despite the threats of punitive consequences or causing harm to self and others. This entry introduces the concept of impulsivity, its related outcomes, and how it develops across the life span.

Impulsivity Is a Multidimensional Construct

Impulsivity is a multifaceted construct. For ...

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