Decision Making, Impulsivity, and Personality Traits in Alcohol-Dependent Subjects


Dr. Rossi, Professor of Psychiatry, Department of Experimental Medicine, University of L’Aquila, Località Coppito II, Via Vetoio, 67100 L’Aquila, Italy. E-mail:


The aim of the study was to assess the relationship among decision-making (DM) ability (as measured by the Iowa Gambling Task [IGT]), impulsivity, and temperament and character traits in a long-term abstinent alcohol-dependent sample. Twenty-six abstinent alcohol-dependent subjects, referred to a Drug Addiction Unit of the National Health Service of L’Aquila, were evaluated using the IGT, the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale, version 11 (BIS-11), and the Temperament and Character Inventory 125-item (TCI-125) version. Twenty-four control subjects were recruited and assessed with IGT only. The clinical and control samples were significantly different in their IGT performance, the former sample making disadvantageous choices leading to lower scores. Significant negative correlations between IGT total score and BIS Non-Planning Impulsivity and a trend toward significance with TCI Novelty Seeking dimension were reported. Our data confirm the results of other studies suggesting DM impairment related to impulsive dimension as an important feature in subjects with alcohol dependence: the finding suggests a role of DM impairment in increasing proneness to a chronic relapsing course. (Am J Addict 2012;24:263–267)