Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.
Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology
How to Cite
Smith, G. T., Zapolski, T. C. B., Combs, J. L. and Friend, R. E. 2010. Impulsivity. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1–2.
- Published Online: 30 JAN 2010
The concept of impulsivity has played an important role in psychology. It is included in virtually every theoretical system of human personality. In the field of clinical psychology, it is understood to contribute to many different forms of psychopathology (Whiteside & Lynam, 2001). It is part of borderline personality disorder (a disorder characterized by emotional lability and ill-considered, self-harming acts); antisocial personality disorder (characterized by rash, ill-thought out acts that often harm others); attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (characterized by difficulty waiting one's turn and persevering on tasks); bulimia nervosa (characterized by binge eating and subsequent purging); alcohol and drug-use disorders; and a whole set of impulse-control disorders, such as kleptomania, pyromania, and intermittent explosive disorder. For many of these forms of psychopathology, impulsivity is understood to contribute to their emergence.