ABSTRACT: The current pair of experimental studies sought to further validate the role of positive urgency (acting rashly when in an extreme positive emotional state) as a risk factor for impulsive and maladaptive behavior. Previous research has supported the use of emotion-based dispositions to rash action in predicting a wide range of maladaptive acts. However, that research was conducted in the field and relied on self-reported behavior, thus lacking tight experimental controls and direct observation of risky behaviors. In the 2 experimental studies described here, we found that among college students (1) positive urgency significantly predicted negative outcomes on a risk-taking task following a positive mood manipulation (n = 94), and (2) positive urgency significantly predicted increases in beer consumption following positive mood induction (n = 33). Positive urgency's role was above and beyond previously identified risk factors; these findings, combined with prior cross-sectional and longitudinal field studies, provide support for the role of positive urgency in rash action.
Psychology of Addictive Behaviors 09/2010; 24(3):367-75. · 2.09 Impact Factor