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Barratt Impulsivity Scale

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The Barratt Impulsivity Scale (BIS) is one of the oldest and most widely used self-administered impulsivity tests. the BIS-11 (1995) is the most recent version of the test.


It was first developed in 1959 and was based on a unidimensional model of impulsiveness which included it as a part of a larger groups of personality pre-dispositions such as extraversion, sensation seeking, and a lack of inhibitory behavioural controls.

Further research lead Barratt to classify impulsivity in three main aspects: motor (acting without thinking), cognitive (quick decisions), and non-planning (present orientation).


1959 BIS-1

1995 BIS-11


Patton et al. (1995) report internal consistency coefficients for the BIS-11 total score that range from 0.79 to 0.83 for separate populations of under-graduates, substance-abuse patients, general psychiatric patients, and prison inmates.


  • Barratt, E. S., & Patton, J. H. (1983). Impulsivity: Cognitive, behavioral, and psychophysiological correlates. In M. Zuckerman (Ed.), Biological bases of sensation seeking, impulsivity, and anxiety. (pp. 77-122). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

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