Mounted by Chris Evans Chris Evans 5.viii.96, last updated 13.i.04


This is a one page, 22 item questionnaire which I designed in the light of a pre-systematic literature review which led to a paper:
      Lacey & Evans (1986) The Impulsivist: a multi-impulsive personality disorder British Journal of Addiction 81:641-649
Some work with an earlier version of the questionnaire is reported in:
      Evans & Lacey (1992) Multiple self-damaging behaviour among alcoholic women. A prevalence study. British Journal of Psychiatry, 161, 643-647.
The measure was published formally in:
      Evans, Searle & Dolan (1998) Two new tools for the assessment of multi-impulsivity: the MIS and the CAM. European Eating Disorders Review, 6, 48-57.

The review and thinking for the first paper made me aware of the enormous differences between the psychiatric idea of impulse control problems, with its links with psychodynamic thinking and its roots in idiographic phenomenology, and the concepts of impulsivity/impulsivenees/ risk-taking/sensation-seeking in the psychological literature. This questionnaire was an attempt to tap into the psychiatric ideas in the form of a self-report questionnaire that would also be usable to tap Prof. Lacey's ideas about the "multi-impulsive personality".

I and others have used the questionnaire in a variety of forms and this form owes much to Dr. Bridget Dolan who, after discussion with me, modified and extended the areas of impulsivity covered for her use of it in Henderson Hospital, prison and probation studies.

One thing should be said immediately: it is not intended that the scale responses should be summed or expected to show the a unidimensional scaling pattern of responses in any conceivable samples. Prof. Lacey's ideas, like the ideas about borderline personality functioning suggest that there will be some negative intercorrelation between item responses in impulsive samples as individuals find different areas of impulsivity "interchangeable". Prof. Lacey's specific expectation was that there would be essentially non-impulsive people, people with one area of impulsivity, and people, his "multi-impulsives" or "impulsivists" who would show more than one area of impulsivity and some capacity to shift impulse control problems from one area to another, say as one became the focus of treatment.

The questionnaire is copyright but I am happy for anyone to use it provided:

  1. it isn't changed in any way other than to translate it (see below!)
  2. my copyright is clearly marked on it and this statement is made available with the original if you are giving it someone else who might use it
  3. you don't make a profit out of it
  4. you inform me that you are using it
(This requirement is just so that I can try, if I have the resources, to keep people using it aware of each other and up to date with developments. It's unlikely I'm going to be able to do this for non-Email users but very likely I'll manage it for Email users by some form of mail list!). Contact details:
Email or 'phone/'fax: [+44|1] 1777 247242/247221
Snail mail to:
Chris Evans
Rampton Hospital
Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust
DN22 0PD

I am keen that people explore translating it and its cross-cultural applicability (it seems clear to me that patterns of response are likely to be very different in different cultures and even in different subcultures of the white, "first world" populations for which it was developed). If anyone wishes to collaborate on studies of its translation and culture dependence I will be happy to help with data analysis.

Versions mounted here (this looks very dated now, but let it be!):