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Stop using term ‘impulsivity’ to describe behavior or personality traits, psychologists say

Stop using term ‘impulsivity’ to describe behavior or personality traits, psychologists say
Johns Hopkins Medicine psychologists suggest that members of their profession stop using the catch-all term “impulsivity” to describe behavioral or personality traits specific to individual mental disorders. Credit: Graphic by M.E. Newman, Johns Hopkins Medicine, using a public domain image of a brain. Credit: Johns Hopkins University

When a word is too frequently used as a catch-all term, its definition becomes too broad and it can stop meaning anything concrete. That’s why Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers suggest that the descriptive term “impulsivity” has become so overgeneralized that it’s no longer useful to describe mental conditions such as substance use disorders, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and others listed in the psychiatry bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

In a new theoretical analysis published on Sept. 24, 2020, in Psychological Review, the researchers say disorders cluster with certain kinds of impulsive behaviors that are individually very distinct

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Brown professors describe the ‘art’ of drawing the curve in epidemiological modeling

Picture thousands of undergraduate students unpacking their bags at an isolated Brown University campus free from outside contact amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In this simplified scenario, a certain number of these students are carrying stowaway SARS-CoV-2 particles. Others have yet to be exposed to the virus and have not developed immune protection against it.  

Assume that each student breaks the six-foot barrier between them and others at a specified interval as they go about their days, that they continue to pass on the virus for a period of time and that each person’s recovery spans a set period, after which they cannot get COVID-19 again. 

By assigning each of these variables a predicted value, researchers can incorporate them into a model to estimate the rise and fall of COVID-19 — the familiar “curve” — for this hypothetical Brown University. 

While this situation is not exactly representative of the epidemiological models

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