Impulsive action and impulsive persons: A descriptive and pragmatic formulation

Bergner, R.M. / Published 1990 / Article

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Citation: Bergner, R.M. (1990). Impulsive Action and Impulsive Persons: A Descriptive and Pragmatic Formulation. In K.E. Davis, (Ed.), Advances in Descriptive Psychology, Vol. 5 (pp. 261-284). Ann Arbor, MI: Descriptive Psychology Press.

Abstract: In this report, an alternative account of impulsive actions and impulsive persons is presented. This account seems to me both to better fit many easily observable facts about such persons and acts, and to heuristically suggest more and better courses of psychotherapeutic action than do most of our prevailing views. The present account has as its core conception the simple notion that impulsive behavior is straightforwardly a special case of rational, intentional action which entails, like any other such action, an individual acting on that which be has stronger reason to act on. From this core notion, I proceed (a) to consider some of these stronger reasons to act, (b) to develop an extensive list of constraining reasons which impulsive individuals are often observed to lack, and (c) to develop an explanation of why impulsive persons act as they do in so precipitous a fashion.