Project Overview

Impulsivity (the tendency to make quick responses without too much deliberation) is a normal cognitive trait found in the general population. This trait is multifaceted, but the different thinking processes that contribute to impulsivity have not yet been precisely established.

In order to gain a better understanding of impulsivity, this project led by Monash University, this project aims to: (i) investigate how different thinking processes contribute to impulsivity, and (ii) develop a battery of online tasks to measure impulsivity.

We hope this study will add to the general knowledge about the nature of impulsivity and help us with the design of more effective interventions for people who have impulsivity related problems.

In this particular phase of the project, we are interested in studying impulsivity in adults who have previously been diagnosed with ADHD. We will study the relationship between our online measures of cognitive impulsivity and questionnaire measures of ADHD symptoms, trait impulsivity as well as real-world instances of impulsive behaviour.

The findings from this study will form the basis of a standalone publication examining the structure of cognitive impulsivity in an adult ADHD population and which aspects of cognitive impulsivity relate to trait measures of impulsivity, ADHD symptoms, anxiety and depression, as real-world instances of risk-taking and impulsive behaviour (drinking, substance use, gambling)

Who Can Participate?

Inclusion criteria:

  • Participants must be aged 18 or over (as this is an investigation of the adult population only),
  • Must not have any colour-blindness or other visual impairment (as this may impede performance on the cognitive battery)
  • Must have a confirmed clinical diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) made by a medical practitioner (e.g. Psychiatrist or Psychologist),
  • All participants will remain on current medication regimens for the duration of the study.

Project Methodology

All participants will complete an online assessment that takes approximately 1 hour. We aim to recruit around 500 individuals with ADHD. Participants will be reimbursed $60 for their time via a Coles Giftcard.

Participants will complete a custom-designed online assessment battery of cognitive impulsivity that assesses three domains of impulsivity.

In the three conditions of the Go/No-Go tasks, participants are instructed to pay attention to cue signals and make quick and accurate Go or No-Go responses to two different symbols.

1. Go/No-Go Attention condition: In this condition, the time between the appearance of the cue signal and the symbol varies from trial to trial (between 100 and 500ms). This task assesses the timely allocation of attentional resources.

2. Go/No-Go Accumulation condition: In this condition, cue signals have a random colour at the beginning of each trial and then they progressively morph into a green or red cue. This task assesses task setting or adaptation of attentional resources to task rules.

3. Go/No-Go Monitoring condition: In this condition, green cues with white lines are linked to gains and red cues with white lines are linked to losses. This task assesses monitoring or quality control of ongoing responses.

In addition, all participants will complete the following questionnaires:

1. ASRS rating ADHD Symptoms,

2. UPPS-P Impulsive Behavior Scale rating trait impulsivity,

3. The Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT; Babor, Higgins-Biddle, Saunders, & Monteiro, 2001); a 10-item measurement tool to assess alcohol consumption and alcohol-related problems over the past 12 months,

4. The Drug Use Disorders Identification Test (DUDIT; Berman, Bergman, Palmstierna, & Schlyter, 2005b); a 11-item measurement tool developed as an analogue instrument to the AUDIT, for assessing illicit drug use and related consequences over the past 12 months,

5. 34 items from the Inventory of Depression and Anxiety – Expanded Version (IDAS-II; Watson et al., 2012) to capture Dysphoria, Well-Being, Panic, and General Depression. The IDAS-II has broad construct coverage, high internal consistency reliability, and discriminates well between depression and anxiety, and,

6. A questionnaire collecting demographic and clinical diagnosis information and current medication data.

Contact Information

To express your interest or for more information, please email:

Ms Julia Koutoulogenis, Monash University via julia.koutoulogenis@monash.edu or download the Project Flyer below.

Download Project Flyer