Comparisons of women with high and low trait impulsivity using behavioral models of response-disinhibition and reward-choice

Dawn M. Marsh, Donald M. Dougherty, Charles W. Mathias, F. Gerard Moeller, Lisa R. Hicks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

85 Scopus citations


Two types of behavioral models of impulsive behavior, response-disinhibition/attentional and reward-choice response models, were used to compare women grouped by high (Impulse+, n = 43) and low (Impulse-, n = 43) self-reported impulsive behavior on the Eysenck I7 Questionnaire. Two of the four different tasks tested were response-disinhibition/attentional models; these included the Immediate and Delayed Memory Task and the GoStop Task. The other two tasks were based on the reward-choice model of impulsivity and included the Single Key Impulsivity Paradigm and the Two-Choice Reward Task. Of particular interest was whether commission errors (response-disinhibition/attentional paradigms) or a preference for smaller-sooner rewards over larger-later rewards (reward-choice) would differ between the groups. Participants completed one session of each task in a single day. The most significant findings were that the Impulse+ group had: (1) elevated commission errors; (2) lower stimulus discriminability (between target and catch stimuli); and (3) poorer response inhibition to a stop signal. Responding on the response-disinhibition/attentional tasks distinguished between the impulsivity groups while the reward-choice tasks did not. These results demonstrate that women who report higher levels of trait impulsivity respond in a manner consistent with previous studies examining impulsive behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1291-1310
Number of pages20
JournalPersonality and Individual Differences
Issue number8
StatePublished - Dec 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavioral assessment
  • Commission errors
  • Impulsivity
  • Response disinhibition
  • Reward choice
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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