Three Factor Impulsivity Index [last revised 7-17-17]

Items and Scoring

Assuming this set of response options is used throughout, all codings/reversals should be done so as to make larger numbers correspond to greater impulsivity.

    1 = I DISagree a LOT
    2 = I DISagree a LITTLE
    3 = I neither agree nor disagree
    4 = I agree a LITTLE
    5 = I agree a LOT

Feelings Trigger Action

Urgency (from Whiteside & Lynam, 2001)

    1. I have trouble controlling my impulses.
    2. I have trouble resisting my cravings (for food, cigarettes, etc.).
    3. I often get involved in things I later wish I could get out of.
    4. When I feel bad, I will often do things I later regret in order to make myself feel better now.
    5. Sometimes when I feel bad, I can't seem to stop what I am doing even though it is making me feel worse.
    6. When I am upset I often act without thinking.
    7. When I feel rejected, I will often say things that I later regret.
    8. It is hard for me to resist acting on my feelings.
    9. I often make matters worse because I act without thinking when I am upset.
    10. In the heat of an argument, I will often say things that I later regret.
    11. I am always able to keep my feelings under control.
    12. Sometimes I do things on impulse that I later regret.

Reverse-code item 11; compute mean of item responses

Positive Urgency (from Cyders et al., 2007)

    1. Others are shocked or worried about the things I do when I am feeling very excited.
    2. When overjoyed, I feel like I can't stop myself from going overboard.
    3. When I am really excited, I tend not to think of the consequences of my actions.
    4. I tend to act without thinking when I am really excited.
    5. When I am really happy, I often find myself in situations that I normally wouldn't be comfortable with.
    6. When I am very happy, I feel like it is OK to give in to cravings or overindulge.
    7. I am surprised at the things I do while in a great mood.

Compute mean of item responses (no reversals)

Reflexive Reactions to Feelings (from Carver et al., 2011)

    1. I generally act on my feelings instantly
    2. My emotions turn into actions quickly
    3. When I want something, I take it fast
    4. When I feel a desire, I act on it immediately
    5. When I have an emotional reaction to something, I often act without thinking
    6. I react impulsively to my feelings
    7. When I feel filled with enthusiasm about something, I charge into motion

Compute mean of item responses (no reversals)

Feelings Trigger Action Factor

Compute mean of 3 means


Pervasive Influence of Feelings

Generalization (from Carver et al., 1988)

    1. When even one thing goes wrong I begin to wonder if I can do well at anything at all.
    2. I hardly ever let unhappiness over one bad time influence my feelings about other parts of my life.
    3. If I notice one fault of mine, it makes me think about my other faults.
    4. A single failure can change me from feeling OK to seeing only the bad in myself.

Reverse-code item 2; compute mean of item responses

Sadness Paralysis (from Carver et al., 2011)

    1. When I feel sad, it paralyzes me.
    2. I respond to feeling sad by just stopping moving

Compute mean of item responses (no reversals)

Emotions Color Worldview (from Carver et al., 2011)

    1. I am easily overwhelmed by feelings I have
    2. My feelings greatly affect how I see the world
    3. When I have emotional experiences, they strongly influence how I look at life

Compute mean of item responses (no reversals)

Pervasive Influence of Feelings Factor

Compute mean of 3 means


Lack of Follow Through

Perseverance computed as Low Perseverance(from Whiteside & Lynam, 2001)

    1. I generally like to see things through to the end.
    2. I tend to give up easily.
    3. Unfinished tasks really bother me.
    4. Once I get going on something I hate to stop.
    5. I concentrate easily.
    6. I finish what I start.
    7. I'm pretty good about pacing myself so as to get things done on time.
    8. I am a productive person who always gets the job done.
    9. Once I start a project, I almost always finish it.
    10. There are so many little jobs that need to be done that I sometimes just ignore them all.

Reverse-code items 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9; compute mean of item responses

Distractibility (from Carver et al., 2011)

    1. I am easily distracted by stray thoughts
    2. It's hard for me to do long projects because so many thoughts enter my mind.
    3. When I'm doing schoolwork, I tend to daydream
    4. My mind wanders when I'm working on something that's tedious or difficult
    5. It's easy for me to retain a clear focus on my work, even when I have other things on my mind
    6. It can be hard for me to carry out my intentions because I get sidetracked by my thoughts
    7. I often slip into a new train of thought when I'm in the middle of something
    8. It's hard for me to keep my mind from wandering
    9. Thoughts come so thick and fast that I have trouble doing only one thing

Reverse-code item 5; compute mean of item responses

Lack of Follow Through Factor

Compute mean of 2 means


Note: These instructions place responses to each scale on the same metric (the item-response scale). Essentially the same result would be obtained by summing responses for each scale and converting the sums to z scores, then averaging the z scores across factors.

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University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences Department of Psychology