Self-Control, Impulsivity, and Delay Discounting in Children
The current experiment examines self-control and impulsive choices of children. Self-control is defined as waiting for a longer period of time for a larger reward, as opposed to waiting a shorter period of time for a smaller reward. Impulsivity is the opposite of self-control, defined as the tendency to choose small, relatively immediate rewards over larger, more delayed rewards. There are many measures of impulsivity in children, including delay discounting tasks, the self-control paradigm, and questionnaire measures. Previous experiments in our lab have examined the relationship between different laboratory measures of impulsivity, using various reinforcers such as food and video (Forzano et al., 2011, 2014). The major purpose of the current experiment is to examine the relationship between different questionnaire measures of impulsivity. Participants, aged 5-12 years, completed the Children’s Delay Discounting Questionnaire (Sorama & Forzano, 2012a) and the Self-Control in Daily Life Questionnaire (Sorama & Forzano, 2012b). Each survey presents a child with hypothetical choices between a longer wait and a larger reward or a shorter wait and a smaller reward. A second purpose of this experiment is to determine the relationship between these measures and age and gender. Preliminary analyses suggest no significant relationships. The results are discussed with respect to their implications for the multidimensional aspect of the construct of impulsivity, specifically in children.