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Behavioral measures of state impulsivity and their psychometric properties: A systematic review

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 20:26 authored by Nguyen, R, Brooks, M, Raimondo BrunoRaimondo Bruno, Amy PeacockAmy Peacock

Aims: Various behavioral impulsivity measures have been developed, yet there has been no recent synthesis and evaluation of available tools. Key to consider is the context for assessment, and whether they can be delivered outside of the laboratory. The aim of this review was to identify and appraise behavioral impulsivity measures, with a secondary objective of identifying measures suitable for real-world delivery (independent of researcher administration).

Methods: PsycINFO, Embase, Medline and PsycTESTS databases were searched for articles published from 1997 using a behavioral impulsivity measure suitable for adults (PROSPERO: CRD42017057784). Measures assessing response disinhibition, impulsive response initiation, and/or impulsive decision-making were identified, delivery method assessed, and searches undertaken for psychometric properties of tasks.

Results: Twenty four behavioral impulsivity measures were identified; evidence of adequate reliability and validity was reported for only eight measures. Only six measures did not require computer facilities. Two measures were suitable for pen-and-paper delivery, the Monetary Choice Questionnaire and Probabilistic Discounting Task, both of which index impulsive decision-making.

Conclusions: Further validation of impulsivity measures is necessary to assist researchers in choosing an appropriate measure for their research setting. Development of behavioral impulsivity measures which can be delivered outside of the laboratory context is a key priority.


Publication title

Personality and Individual Differences








School of Psychological Sciences


Pergamon-Elsevier Science Ltd

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The Boulevard, Langford Lane, Kidlington, Oxford, England, Ox5 1Gb

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Copyright 2018 Elsevier Ltd.

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Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified