Dysfunctional inhibitory control and impulsivity in Internet addiction (2013)

Psychiatry Res. 2013 Dec 11. pii: S0165-1781(13)00764-6. doi: 10.1016/j.psychres.2013.12.001.

Choi JS1, Park SM2, Roh MS3, Lee JY1, Park CB4, Hwang JY1, Gwak AR4, Jung HY5.


The purpose of this study was to explore a psychological profile of Internet addiction (IA) considering impulsivity as a key personality trait and as a key component of neuropsychological functioning. Twenty three subjects with IA (Young’s Internet Addiction Test scores=70 or more) and 24 sex-, age-, and intelligence-matched healthy controls were enrolled.

Participants filled out a questionnaire about trait impulsivity, the Trait Characteristic Inventory, depression, and anxiety. Next, we administered traditional neuropsychological tests including the Stroop et al. and computerized neuropsychological tests using the Cambridge Neuropsychological Test Automated Battery.

The IA group exhibited more trait impulsivity than the healthy control group. They also scored higher for novelty seeking and harm avoidance. The IA group performed more poorly than the healthy control group in a computerized stop signal test, a test for inhibitory function and impulsivity; no group differences appeared for other neuropsychological tests.

The IA group also scored higher for depression and anxiety, and lower for self-directedness and cooperativeness. In conclusion, individuals with IA exhibited impulsivity as a core personality trait and in their neuropsychological functioning.

© 2013 Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.


Impulsive personality trait, Impulsivity, Internet addiction, Neuropsychological test, Stop signal test