impulsivity

F. Frank LeFever flefever at ix.netcom.com
Sun Sep 20 12:23:53 EST 1998


Not familiar with those particular studies, but in general subjects
show a speed/accuracy trade-off with some giving more priority to
accuracy, some more to speed.  Delaying a response for the sake of
accuracy goes against the grain for impulsive subjects, so with no
specific instructions to bias this trade-off, they will tend to prefer
speed and so will be faster than others.  When instructed to favor
accuracy, their difficulty in delaying and/or abnormal estimate of how
careful is "careful" (i.e. pervasive underestimate), they will continue
to favor speed over accuracy and will therefore be quicker.  Depending
on realistic difficulty of the task, they may or may not be less
accurate than others, but I whould think would tend to be less
accurate.

Your question re "attention" is pertinent: some relevant wstudies may
be found in the ADD or ADHD literature (attention deficit hyperactivity
disorder), e.g. errors of omission vs. errors of commission (the latter
being impulsive responses) in CPT (continuous performance test)
studies.

At a NYNG conference on Adult Attention Deficit Disorder, Martha
Denckla suggested we should think in  terms of "intention" rather than
"attention", emphasized the role of prefrontal cortical "executive"
functions, ability to choose and maintain appropriate responses in
competition with impulses towards other responses; not so much AMOUNT
of activity as activity that is not controlled, consistently
purposeful, etc. 

F. Frank LeFever, Ph.D.
New York Neuropsychology Group




In <6u0lds$jlk$1 at mamenchi.zrz.TU-Berlin.DE> "Alex K." <alex-k at gmx.net>
writes: 
>
>In most reaction-time experiments with high and low impulsive
subjects, more
>impulsives are faster than low impulsives. But in some experiments
they
>react in a very interesting way: in some experiments high impulsives
are
>faster in an accuracy condition than in a speed condition (same
experiment,
>only different instruction: try as fast as you can // try as accurate
as you
>can).
>Is there anybody who can tell me why? Are there any research  about
it?
>
>Can anybody tell me the connection between attention and impulsivity?
>Who can help me to find informations about these subjects? Where do I
have
>to search?
>
>Thanks,
>Alex
>
>
>




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