Difference Between Compulsive & Impulsive Behavior

Compulsive vs Impulsive

Compulsive and impulsive behaviors are two different forms of actions, with the main difference being that compulsive behavior involves thinking about the act of performing, while impulsive behavior involves acting without thought. Both concepts are studied within abnormal psychology in the context of psychological disorders. This article will examine the differences between compulsive and impulsive behaviors.

What does Compulsive mean?

Compulsive behavior occurs when an individual has an irresistible urge to do something and finds it difficult to refrain from engaging in a particular activity. Compulsive behaviors are a reaction to relieve anxiety. In abnormal psychology, psychologists discuss compulsive behavioral patterns, which result in compulsive disorders such as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). The main characteristic of compulsive behavior or compulsive disorders is that they are premeditated, with the individual thinking about the action for a long period and making an effort to rationalize it.

What does Impulsive mean?

Impulsive behavior is when an individual acts on instinct without thinking through the consequences. A key difference between impulsive behavior and compulsive behavior is that impulsive behavior is not premeditated. Abnormal psychology also pays attention to impulsive disorders, as impulsive behavior provides the individual with pleasure by reducing tension. Those who suffer from impulsive disorders do not think about the act but engage in it the moment it comes to them. Impulsive disorders are often linked to negative consequences such as illegal acts.

Key Takeaways

  • Compulsive behavior involves an irresistible urge to do something and is premeditated, while impulsive behavior is acting on instinct without thinking.
  • Both compulsive and impulsive behaviors are studied within abnormal psychology and can result in disorders.
  • Individuals with compulsive behavior tend to rationalize their actions, whereas those with impulsive behavior do not.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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