Why Does It Matter?

"The Double-Edged Sword: ADHD and Impulsivity" by Kimberly Quinn

Harnessing the Positive Impacts of Impulsivity

Impulsivity, while often framed as a negative characteristic, can have many positive effects. Impulsivity can make students excited and eager to learn, motivate them to research a topic of interest independently, and take the initiative to participate and collaborate with others.

Helping students understand their impulsivity can help them harness it and learn to use that impulsivity to their advantage. Additionally, for teachers, understanding where your students generally stand on the impulsivity scale can support effective lesson planning.

In the accompanying video, Dr. Quinn talks about the positives and negatives of impulsivity. Check it out!

About the Instrument

The Impulsivity survey is designed to help students understand their impulsivity. This 15 question survey asks about planning/non-planning, attention/inattention, and how quickly participants take action with or without thinking.

This survey is derived from a longer version containing 30 questions in total. We have opted to utilize the shortened version in order to make this survey more accessible to participants with higher impulsivity or younger participants who may have difficulty completing the extended version.

An individual's impulsivity can vary from time to time and from circumstance to circumstance. Thus, participants are asked to answer the questions quickly and honestly as doing so will give a more accurate score.



Spinella, M. (2007). Normative Data and a Short Form of the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale. International Journal of Neuroscience, 117(3), 359-368. DOI: 10.1080/00207450600588881.