Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Psychol Bull. 2008 Nov;134(6):807-28. doi: 10.1037/a0013341.

Emotion-based dispositions to rash action: positive and negative urgency.

Author information

  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506-0044, USA.


Under heightened emotional states, individuals are more inclined to engage in ill-considered or rash actions than at other times. The authors present evidence for the existence of 2 related traits called positive and negative urgency. The traits refer to individual differences in the disposition to engage in rash action when experiencing extreme positive and negative affect, respectively. The authors provide evidence that these traits are distinct from other dispositions toward rash action and that they play distinct roles in predicting problem levels of involvement in behaviors such as alcohol consumption, binge eating, drug use, and risky sexual behavior. The authors identify facilitative conditions for the emergence of the urgency traits from neuroscience. Certain gene polymorphisms are associated with low levels of serotonin and high levels of dopamine; that pattern of neurotransmitter activity in a brain system linking the orbitofrontal cortex and the amygdala appears to facilitate the development of positive and negative urgency. The authors discuss the implications of this theory.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for American Psychological Association Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk