The Relationships between Functional and Dysfunctional Impulsivity and Aggression across Different Samples

By Vigil-Colet, Andreu; Morales-Vives, Fabia et al. | The Spanish Journal of Psychology, July 1, 2008 | Go to article overview

The Relationships between Functional and Dysfunctional Impulsivity and Aggression across Different Samples


Vigil-Colet, Andreu, Morales-Vives, Fabia, Tous, Jordi, The Spanish Journal of Psychology


E. S. Barratt proposed the term impulsive aggression to define a kind of aggression that is characterized by acting without thinking because of high levels of impulsivity. Previous research using psychometric measures has shown that impulsivity and aggression are related as far as psychometric measures are concerned. Nevertheless, most of the research has been done with samples of university students. Our research tests whether this relationship is stable across different samples; university students, teenagers and workers. Our results show that impulsivity and aggression have a consistent pattern of relationships across these samples, with impulsivity being specially related to emotional and instrumental aspects of aggression. Furthermore, the effects of anger on aggression seem to show a pattern of relationship that depends on age, with a tendency to physical aggression in young people and verbal aggression in adults.

Keywords: impulsivity, impulsive aggression, anger

E. S. Barratt ha propuesto el término agresión impulsiva para definir un tipo de agresión que se caracteriza por actuar sin pensar debido a altos niveles de impulsividad. Investigaciones anteriores con medidas psicométricas han mostrado que impulsividad y agresión están relacionadas en lo que a las medidas psicométricas se refiere. Sin embargo, la mayoría de las investigaciones han empleado muestras de estudiantes universitarios. Nuestro trabajo trata de comprobar si esta relación se mantiene en muestras diferentes. Nuestros resultados indican que impulsividad y agresión muestran una pauta de relación consistente across these samples, estando la impulsividad especialmente relacionada con los aspectos emocionales e instrumentales de la agresión. Además, los efectos de la ira sobre la agresión muestran al parecer una pauta de relación dependiente de la edad, encontrándose una tendencia a la agresión física en gente joven y la agresión verbal en adultos.

Palabras clave: impulsividad, agresión impulsiva, ira

There is a general consensus on the multidimensional nature of impulsivity but there is also a lack of agreement about the number of dimensions that this construct contains. Several authors have tried to determine the number and nature of these dimensions by applying factor analysis or structural equation modelling to various self-report measures of impulsivity (Gerbing, Ahadi, & Patton, 1987; Miller, Flory, Lynam, & Leukefeld, 2003; Miller, Joseph, & Tudway, 2004; Whiteside & Lynam, 2001). Although these analyses proposed a different number of dimensions, most of them agree that certain scales tend to show high loadings on the same factor. In this respect, Whiteside and Lynam (2001) and Miller et al. (2004) found that the Dysfunctional Impulsivity (DI) scale of Dickman's Impulsivity Questionnaire (Dickman, 1990), the Impulsivity scale of Eysencks' I7 (NI) Impulsivity Questionnaire (Eysenck, Pearson, Easting, & Allsopp, 1985) and the three Impulsivity scales of Barrat's Impulsiveness Scale-11 (BIS-11; Patton, Stanford, & Barratt, 1995) loaded on the same dimension. Furthermore, Vigil-Colet (2007) recently showed that the disattenuated correlation coefficient between DI and the NI is around 1, so both scales seem to measure the same dimension. On the other hand, the same studies show that functional impulsivity (FI) and venturesomeness (VE) scales tend to load on a different factor.

The concepts of functional and dysfunctional impulsivity were proposed by Dickman (1990). He suggested that impulsivity involved at least two distinct and independent forms. The first is functional impulsivity, which is related to a tendency to take quick decisions when this is appropriate to the situation. The second is dysfunctional impulsivity and is related to speedy and non-reflexive decisions, which have negative consequences for the individual. This distinction is similar to Eysenck's (1997) distinction between extraverted impulsivity and psychotic impulsivity: the former is the process of taking decisions with a calculated risk, while the latter is the process of taking decisions that do not take into account the associated risks and consequences of the action. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Relationships between Functional and Dysfunctional Impulsivity and Aggression across Different Samples
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.