A major problem in the research considering impulsivity is the lack of mutual understanding on how to measure and define impulsivity. Our study examined the relationship between self-reported impulsivity, behavioral excitatory and inhibitory processes and time perception. Impulsivity--fast, premature, thoughtless or disinhibited behavior--was assessed in 58 normal, healthy participants (30 men, mean age 21.9 years). Self-reported impulsivity as measured by Adaptive and Maladaptive Impulsivity Scale (AMIS) and behavioral excitatory and inhibitory processes as measured by Stop Signal Task were not directly related. Time perception, measured by the retrospective Time Estimation Task, was related to both. The length of the perceived time interval was positively correlated to AMIS Disinhibition subscale and negatively to several Stop Signal Task parameters. The longer subjects perceived the duration to last, the higher was their score on Disinhibition scale and the faster were their reactive responses in the Stop Signal Task. In summary our findings support the idea of cognitive tempo as a possible mechanism underlying impulsive behavior.
© 2012 The Authors. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology © 2012 The Scandinavian Psychological Associations.