Date of Award

Spring 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Psychological Sciences

First Advisor

Douglas B. Samuel

Committee Chair

Douglas B. Samuel

Committee Member 1

Donald R. Lynam

Committee Member 2

Sang Woo


Impulsivity is an individual difference that impacts many aspects of an individual's functioning; however, there as of yet has been no consensus on a single definition of impulsivity across the various fields that study it and its related outcomes. In fact, research at this point predominantly supports the idea that "impulsivity" is actually a multi-faceted construct comprised of multiple lower-order traits, but there is little agreement on what those lower-order facets should be. The purpose of the present study was to investigate the conceptualization of complex trait impulsivity within two new omnibus measures of maladaptive personality in terms of both their reproduction of the nomological network of impulsivity and their ability to predict behavioral outcomes related to impulsive personality traits. This study obtained self-report questionnaire ratings and behavioral lab task data from a community sample, recruited online and oversampled for high impulsivity. The results showed that while these new measures of personality pathology generally include the overall components of the nomological net of impulsivity, the lower-order facets seem to lack specificity in their relationships with impulsive trait constructs and in their ability to predict maladaptive behavioral outcomes. These results are discussed in terms of theoretical conceptualizations of impulsivity and practical implications for usage of these measures.