Dave Keatley discusses the role of impulsivity in motivation and behaviour

Dave Keatley, from University of Nottingham, recently gave a talk at the Department of Psychology’s Cognitive Science Research Seminar series about his latest research examining the role of impulsive motivations in a range of behaviours. Dave started the talk by distinguishing between explicit motivations in behaviour (where a person consciously plans to perform an action) and implicit motivations in behaviour (where an action is performed impulsively without conscious planning). He then went on to describe the techniques he uses to assess impulsive motivations, such as the Implicit Association Test, and how he has used these tests to demonstrate links between impulsive motivation and a range of health behaviours (e.g., condom use), problem-solving behaviours, and students’ academic achievement. In addition, Dave discussed a new line of research focusing on implicitly measured self-concept in relation to altruistic behaviour.