eCite Digital Repository

Reliability of triggering inhibitory process is a better predictor of impulsivity than SSRT


Skippen, P and Matzke, D and Heathcote, A and Fulham, WR and Michie, P and Karayanidis, F, Reliability of triggering inhibitory process is a better predictor of impulsivity than SSRT, Acta Psychologica, 192 pp. 104-117. ISSN 0001-6918 (2019) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.actpsy.2018.10.016


The ability to control behaviour is thought to rely on adequately suppressing impulsive responses to external stimuli. However, the evidence for this relationship between response inhibition ability and impulse control is weak and inconsistent. This study investigates the relationship between response inhibition and both self-report and behavioural measures of impulsivity as well as engagement in risky behaviours in a large community sample (N=174) of healthy adolescents and young adults (15-35yrs). Using a stop-signal paradigm with a number parity go task, we implemented a novel hierarchical Bayesian model of response inhibition that estimates stop-signal reaction time (SSRT) as a distribution and also accounts for failures to react to the stop-signal (i.e., "trigger failure"), and failure to react to the choice stimulus (i.e., "go failure" or omission errors). In line with previous studies, the model reduced estimates of SSRT by up to 100ms compared with traditional non-parametric estimation techniques. Although some relationships between behavioural and self-report measures of impulsivity with traditionally estimated SSRT were supported, they did not hold for the model-based SSRT estimates. Instead, the behavioural impulsivity measures were found to be related to trigger failure. We suggest that trigger failure is correlated with impulsivity because it indexes higher order processing related to inhibition, whereas SSRT, when estimated without confounding from trigger failure, indexes more automatic inhibitory processes.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:response inhibition, stop-signal task, trigger failure, impulsivity, Bayesian modelling, plausible values
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Cognitive and computational psychology
Research Field:Decision making
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in psychology
UTAS Author:Heathcote, A (Professor Andrew Heathcote)
ID Code:129175
Year Published:2019
Web of Science® Times Cited:31
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2018-11-13
Last Modified:2020-08-07

Repository Staff Only: item control page