Experimental Effect of Positive Urgency on Negative Outcomes From Risk Taking and on Increased Alcohol Consumption

Melissa A. Cyders, Tamika C.B. Zapolski, Jessica L. Combs, Regan Fried Settles, Mark T. Fillmore, Gregory T. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

107 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)367-375
Number of pages9
JournalPsychology of Addictive Behaviors
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2010


  • Alcohol
  • Emotions
  • Experimental
  • Impulsivity
  • Risk-taking

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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