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Chapter Eight. Are You Impulsive? > What Does Your Score Mean?

What Does Your Score Mean?

As noted, the higher your score, the more impulsive you are. So what’s high? A study comparing college students, psychiatric patients with substance-abuse problems, and prison inmates can help us answer that question.[3] It seems reasonable to expect substance-abuse patients and prisoners to score higher than normal college students because such individuals are more likely to have impulse-control problems. And that’s what the study found. The average score by the college students was 64. The substance-abuse patients averaged 69, and the prisoners scored just over 76. Based on these results, I suggest that scores lower than 60 indicate substantial control over your impulses, and scores more than 70 indicate a relatively high tendency toward impulsive action.

Your score can help you size up how prone you might be toward making decisions too quickly or if you have difficulty delaying desire for instant gratification. It’s also more difficult for people with a high impulsive tendency to set goals and to stay focused on those goals.


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