impulsivity

25Feb12

I’ve been thinking about the fact that I am impulsive. Impulsivity is behavior without adequate forethought. It’s normal in children, and tends to be pathological in adults. I decided to study up a bit and found that it’s tied to ADHD, substance abuse disorders and bipolar disorder. Since it is an inability to self-regulate, impulsivity is also tied to procrastination.

As these are two of my most serious problems, I kept reading.

According to a study cited in a blog on Psychology Today’s website[i], two aspects of self-regulation are locomotion (goal-oriented behavior) and assessment (evaluation of goals and planning.) The authors of the study found that impulsivity is tied to high assessment and low locomotion. In English, procrastinators and impulsive people think overly much and do overly little.

To compound this, the authors of another study say that willpower is like a muscle. People (like me) who constantly think, and rarely engage in positive behaviors don’t exercise and strengthen their self-regulation “muscle” and can actually wear out their willpower thinking, planning, comparing themselves to others, and creating scenarios of what might have been. The negative self-appraisal depletes willpower and results in impulsive behavior.  Then, after impulsive behavior, we go back into the negative self-assessment, adding regret and are at high risk for experiencing depression.

There needs to be a balance between thinking and acting. In either direction lies pathology.

I know that this fits with everything else I’m learning about turning my life in a more positive direction.



One Response to “impulsivity”

  1. Considerably, this post is really the sweetest on this notable topic. I harmonise with your conclusions and will thirstily look forward to your incoming updates. Saying thanks will not just be sufficient, for the phenomenal clarity in your writing


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