Impulsive antisociality and executive control problems: evidence from go/no-go and stop-signal tasks
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Submission date: 2014-11-01
Final revision date: 2015-03-04
Acceptance date: 2015-03-09
Online publication date: 2015-03-26
Publication date: 2015-03-31
Current Issues in Personality Psychology 2015;3(1):36–41
People with impulsive-antisocial traits may engage in unplanned behaviors that reduce their efficiency and may even result in harm to self and others. The present study aimed to investigate the relationship between executive control functions and impulsive antisociality, as assessed with the Psychopathic Personality Inventory (PPI). Using go/no-go and stop-signal paradigms, we examined whether healthy participants with high impulsive-antisocial traits would show delayed response inhibition and error monitoring deficits when compared to those reporting low levels of impulsive antisociality.

Participants and procedure
A total of 26 participants were recruited from different Warsaw universities based on the Impulsive Antisociality subscale scores of the PPI. Subjects scoring in the first quartile were assigned to the low and those with a score in the fourth quartile were selected for the high impulsivity group. All participants were tested with go/no-go and stop-signal tasks that were executed in a random order.

Higher levels of impulsive-antisocial traits were associated with poorer executive control. In particular, high impulsive-antisocial individuals demonstrated reduced post-error slowing in response to go stimuli following an error and took longer to respond to the stop signal than the control group. The two groups did not differ in their performance accuracy.

The study extends previous findings regarding the relationship between impulsivity and executive control showing that non-clinical impulsive antisociality results in decreased conflict detection ability and delayed response inhibition. These problems may result in reduced executive effectiveness in everyday life situations.