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UPPS-P Impulsive Behavior Scale

Urgency, Premeditation (lack of), Perseverance (lack of), Sensation Seeking, Positive Urgency, Impulsive Behavior Scale

The UPPS-P model of impulsivity proposes that impulsivity as a multi-faceted and multi-dimensional construct, comprising five impulsive personality traits.

The UPPS scale was originally developed by Whiteside and Lynam (2001) in order to provide consensus on which traits are measured across different existing impulsivity measures. Whiteside and Lynam (2001) created the scale by conducting a factor analysis of existing self-report scales measuring multiple different aspects of impulsive personality. This analysis resulted in four traits included in this original version of the scale:
  • Negative urgency: tendency to act rashly under extreme negative emotions
  • Lack of Premeditation: tendency to act without thinking
  • Lack of Perseverance: inability to remain focused on a task
  • Sensation Seeking: tendency to seek out novel and thrilling experiences
In 2007, Cyders and colleagues noted that although impulsive action under extreme negative emotions was represented in the model, impulsive action under extreme positive emotions also exist and were not well conceptualized or measured in the literature. Therefore, the authors created a scale of positive urgency, which was later incorporated into the UPPS-P scale.
  • Positive Urgency: tendency to act rashly under extreme positive emotions
English 59-item version (UPPS-P; Lynam et al., 2009)
The full version of the UPPS-P Scale (UPPS-P; Lynam, Smith, Whiteside, & Cyders, 2006) is composed of 59 items, with 10-14 items per scale.
English Short Version (S-UPPS-P; Cyders et al., 2014)
In 2014, Cyders and colleagues tested the reliability and validity of responses from a short verison of the UPPS-P that was originally developed by Dr. Donald Lynam. This shortened version has 4 items per scale. A clerical error was included in the scoring of this scale in the original article; the correct version can be downloaded by clicking the English Short Version.
Child version (Zapolski et al., 2011)
Zapolski and colleagues (2011) developed a child version of the UPPS-P scale. The goal of the child version is to measure UPPS-P model of impulsivity traits in those between the age of 7 and 13. This particular scale has adjusted the wording to contain one and two syllable words for reader comprehension and the subscales have fewer items than the traditional English version.
Scoring and Factor Structure of the UPPS-P 
Items are responded to on a 4-point Likert type scale:
  • UPPS-P English version
Items are scored on a 4-point scale:
Agree Strongly = 1
Agree Some = 2
Disagree Some = 3
Disagree Strongly = 4
Selected items are recorded so that higher values translate into higher leveles of impulsivity (see figure below).  Items for each scale are then averaged together.
UPPS-P (59-item version)
2nd Order Factors 1st Order Factors # of items Items contributing to each subscale
Emotion Based Rash Action Negative Urgency 12 2*,7*,12*,17*,22*,29*,34*,39*,44*,50*,53, 58*
Positive Urgency 14 5*,10*,15*,20*,25*,30*,35*,40*,45*,49*,52*,54*,57*,59*
Sensation Seeking Sensation Seeking 12 3*,8*,13*,18*,23*,26*,31*,36*,41*,46*,51*,56*
Deficits in Conscientiousness (lack of) Premeditation 11 1,6,11,16,21,28,33,38,43,48,55
(lack of) Perseverance 10 4,9*,14,19,24,27,32,37,42,47*
*reverse scored items
UPPS-P (short version)
2nd Order Factors 1st Order Factors # of items Items contributing to each subscale
Emotion Based Rash Action Negative Urgency 4 6*, 8*, 13*, 15*
Positive Urgency 4 3*, 10*, 17*, 20*
Sensation Seeking Sensation Seeking 4 9*, 14*, 16*, 18*
Deficits in Conscientiousness (lack of) Premeditation 4 2, 5, 12, 19
(lack of) Perseverance 4 1, 4, 7, 11
*reverse scored items


Original UPPS scale development
Whiteside, S. P., & Lynam, D. R. (2001). The Five Factor Model and impulsivity: Using a structural model of personality to understand impulsivity. Personality and Individual Differences, 30(4), 669-689.
Positive urgency scale development
Cyders, M. A., Smith, G. T., Spillane, N. S., Fischer, S., Annus, A. M., & Peterson, C. (2007). Integration of impulsivity and positive mood to predict risky behavior: Development and validation of a measure of positive urgency. Psychological Assessment, 19(1), 107-118. doi:10.1037/1040-3590.19.1.107
UPPS-P Impulsive Behavior Scale
Lynam, D. R., Whiteside, S. P., Smith, G. T., & Cyders, M. A. (2006). The UPPS-P: Assessing five personality pathways to impulsive behavior. West Lafayette, IN: Purdue University. Unpublished report.
English Short Form of the UPPS-P
Cyders, M. A., Littlefield, A. K., Coffey, S., & Karyadi, K. A. (2014). Examination of a short English version of the UPPS-P Impulsive Behavior Scale. Addictive Behaviors, 39(9), 1372-1376. doi:10.1016/j.addbeh.2014.02.013
Child UPPS Scale
Zapolski, T. C. B., Stairs, A. M., Settles, R. F., Combs, J. L., & Smith, G. T. (2011). The measurement of dispositions to rash action in children. Assessment, 17(1), 116-125. doi: 10.1177/1073191109351372.

UPPS-P Translations

The UPPS-P Impulsive Behavior Scale was originally researched and validated in English. The UPPS-P scale has been translated into various languages. Note that some versions do not include positive urgency subscale as they used the UPPS scale before the introduction of positive urgency.
Arabic (Short version)
Bteich, G., Berbiche, D., & Khazaal, Y. (2017). Validation of the short Arabic UPPS-P Impulsive Behavior Scale. BMC Psychiatry, 17. doi: 10.1186/s12888-017-1407-y.
Sediyama, C. Y. N., Moura, R., Garcia, M. S., da Silva, A. G., Soraggi, C., Neves, F. S., Albuquerque, M. R., Whitesdie, S. P., & Malloy-Diniz, L. F. (2017). Factor analysis of the Brazilian version of UPPS Impulsive Behavior Scale. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 622. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00622.
Bousardt, A. M. C., Noorthooorn, E. O., Hoogendoorn, A. W., Nijman, H. L. I., & Hummelen, J. W. (2017). On the link between emotionally driven impulsivity and aggression: Evidence from a validation study on the Dutch UPPS-P. International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology, 1-16. doi: 10.1177/0306624X17711879.
Farsi (Short version)
Shokri, O., & Sanaeeour, M. H. (2016). Cross-cultural adaptation of a Farsi version of the Impulsive Behavior Scale – Short Form in Iran. International Jouranl of Body, Mind & Culture, 3(2), 101-112.
Van der Linden, M., d’Acremont, M., Zermatten, A., Jermann, F., Laroi, F., Willems, S., Juillerat, A., & Bechara, A. (2006). A French Adaptation of the UPPS Impulsive Behavior Scale: Confirmatory factor analysis in a sample of undergraduate students. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 22(1), 38-42. doi: 10.1027/1015-5759.22.1.38.
French (Short version)
Billieux, J., Rochat, L., Ceschi, G., Carré, A., Offerlin-Meyer, I., Defeldre, A., & … Van der Linden, M. (2012). Validation of a short French version of the UPPS-P Impulsive Behavior Scale. Comprehensive Psychiatry, 53(5), 609-615. doi: 10.1016/j.comppsych.2011.09.001.
Kampfe, N., & Mitte, K. (2009). A German validation of the UPPS Impulsive Behavior Scale: Further evidence for a four-dimensional model of impulsivity. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 25(4), 252-259. doi: 10.1027/1015-5759.25.4.252.
German (Short version)
Keye, D., Wilhelm, O., & Oberauer, K. (2009). Structure and correlates of the German version of the Brief UPPS Impulsive Behavior Scales. European Journal of Psychological Assessment, 25(3), 175-185. doi: 10.1027/1015-5759.25.3.175.
Fossati, A., Somma, A., Karyadi, K. A., Cyders, M. A., Bortolla, R., & Borroni, S. (2016). Reliability and validity of the Italian translation of the UPPS-P Impulsive Behavior Scale in a sample of consecutively admitted psychotherapy patients. Personality And Individual Differences, 911-6. doi:10.1016/j.paid.2015.11.020.
Italian (short version)
D’Orta, I., Burnay, J., Aiello, D., Niolu, C., Siracusano, A., Timpanaro, L., Khazaal, Y., & Billieux, J. Development and validation of a short Italian UPPS-P Impulsive Behavior Scale. Addictive Behaviors Reports, 2, 19-22. doi: 10.1016/j.abrep.2015.04.003.
Lim, S. Y., & Lee, Y. H. (2014). A Korean validation of the UPPS-P Impulsive Behavior Scale in college students. Korean Journal of Clinical Psychology, 33(1), 51-71. doi: 10.15842/kjcp.2014.33.1.004.
Poprawa, R. (2016). Polska adaptacja Skali Impulsywnego Zachowania UPPS-P oraz jej znaczenie w predykcji wybranych eksternalizowanych problemów i zaburzeń. = Polish adaptation of the UPPS-P Impulsive Behavior Scale and its significance in the prediction of selected externalized problems and disorders. Przegląd Psychologiczny, 59(1), 95-116.
Verdejo-García, A., Lozano, Ó., Moya, M., Alcázar, M. Á., & Pérez-García, M. (2010). Psychometric properties of a Spanish version of the UPPS-P Impulsive Behavior Scale: Reliability, validity and association with trait and cognitive impulsivity. Journal of Personality Assessment, 92(1), 70-77. doi:10.1080/00223890903382369.
Spanish (Short version)
Candido, A., Orduna, E., Perales, J.C., Verdejo-Garcia, A., & Billieux, J. (2012). Validation of a short Spanish version of the UPPS-P impulsive behavior scale. Trastornos Adictivos, 14(3), 73-78. doi: 10.1016/S1575-0973(12)70048-X.

Support for UPPS-P Clinical and Research Applications

For questions and guidance for clinical and research use of this instrument and it’s interpretation contact Dr. Lynam and/or Dr. Cyders at:
Donald R. Lynam, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor of Psychological Sciences
Purdue University
703 Third Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2081
Office Phone: (765) 496-9025
FAX: (765)496-2670
Melissa A. Cyders, Ph.D., HSPP
Associate Professor of Psychology
School of Science
Indiana University Purdue University – Indianapolis
402 N. Blackford Street
Indianapolis, Indiana 46202-3275
Office Phone: (317) 274-6752


The International Society for Research on Impulsivity thanks Miji Um and Taylor Hunton, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis, for development of content describing the UPPS-P.
Copies of the 59-item, short version, and child version of the UPPS-P are posted her with permission authors for research purposes.