ISSN 2043-8087
Journal of Experimental Psychopathology
 Volume 3, Issue 5, 794-806, 2012
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Are Compulsive Buyers Impulsive? Evidence of Poor Response Inhibition and Delay Discounting

Authors
Alishia D Williams
School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales

Volume 3, Issue 5, 2012, Pages 794-806
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5127/jep.025211

Abstract
Compulsive buying (CB) is not formally classified in the diagnostic and statistical manual (DSM), but it is widely considered an impulse-control disorder not otherwise specified. However, relatively few studies have systematically examined impulsivity or inhibition-related functions in CB. The aim of the present study was therefore to examine impulsivity as indexed by a multidimensional self-report measure of impulsivity (BIS) and behavioural paradigms that assess impulsive responding in the form of delay discounting and response inhibition. In a sample of compulsive buyers (n = 26), pathological gamblers (n = 23), and healthy controls (n = 26) analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed that both self-report and behavioural responses of the CB group were comparable to that of pathological gamblers, reflecting elevated impulsivity in comparison to healthy controls. Results may be interpreted in the context of models of gambling pathology that underscore the failure of heavily discounted consequences to deter engagement in maladaptive behaviours and that highlight the role of poor response inhibition in disorder maintenance. Limitations and future directions are discussed.

Table of Contents
Introduction
Method
  Participants
    Healthy Control Group.
    Compulsive Buying Group.
    Pathological Gambling Group.
  Measures
    Barratt Impulsiveness Scale.
    South Oaks Gambling Screen.
    The Yale Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale – Shopping Version.
    Structured Clinical Interview for DSM Disorders.
    Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV-TR (SCID) for impulse-control disorders not elsewhere classified.
    Structured Clinical Interview for DSM Disorders- Screening Module.
    Task Effort Ratings.
    Behavioural Tasks.
    GoStop Impulsivity Paradigm (GoStop).
    The Two Choice Impulsivity Paradigm (TCIP).
    The Single Key Impulsivity Paradigm (SKIP).
  Procedure
Results
  Sample Characteristics
  Disorder-Specific Measures
  Self-Report Measures of Impulsivity
  Behavioural Measures of Impulsivity
  Relationship between Self-Report and Behavioural Measures
Discussion
Acknowledgments
References

Correspondence to
Alishia Williams, Clinical Research Unit for Anxiety and Depression (CRUfAD), Level 4 O’Brien Building, St. Vincent’s Hospital, Faculty of Medicine, School of Psychiatry, University of New South Wales, Australia, 2010.

Keywords
compulsive buying; impulse control; impulsivity; pathological gambling; delay discounting; response inhibition

Dates
Received 11 Nov 2011; Revised 1 Apr 2012; Accepted 1 Apr 2012; In Press 23 Sep 2012







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