Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11)


The Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11) is a widely used 30 question self-report measure of impulsiveness originally created in the 1990s by Dr. Barratt and International Society for Research on Impulsivity. It is one of the most commonly administered self-report measures specifically designed for the assessment of impulsiveness in both research and clinical settings. Although initially developed in the United States, the BIS-11 has been applied widely around the world and has been translated into multiple languages.

The BIS-11 was designed to be a “multifaceted” measure of trait impulsivity based on anxiety and sensation/thrill-seeking research. It includes six first-order factors (attention, motor, self-control, cognitive complexity, perseverance, and cognitive instability impulsiveness) and three second-order factors (attentional, motor, and non-planning impulsiveness). Many scholarly manuscripts report only the total score; it is recommended that at least the second order factors be reported to account for their individual contributions.

It is rated on a four-point Likert scale of 1 = Rarely/Never to 4 = Almost Always/Always. The total scores can range from 30 to 120. There are limited psychometric studies to help interpreter the total score, 1st or second order scores. However, higher scores on the BIS-11 reflect higher levels of impulsiveness. The questionnaire wasn’t designed for a diagnosis, or to be used for grading treatment progress, as impulsivity is a symptom that is transdiagnostic.


Barratt, E.S. (1994).

Impulsiveness and Aggression. In Monahan, J. and H. J. Steadman (Eds.), Violence and Mental Disorder: Developments in Risk Assessment (pp. 61-79).
University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL.

E. S. Barratt (1965).

Factor analysis of some psychometric measures of impulsiveness and anxiety.
Psychological Reports, 16, 547-554.

J. H. Patton, M. S. Stanford, and E. S. Barratt (1995).

Factor structure of the Barratt impulsiveness scale.
Journal of Clinical Psychology, 51, 768-774.

M. S. Stanford, C. W. Mathias, D. M. Dougherty, S. L. Lake, N. E. Anderson, J. H. Patton (2009).

Fifty years of the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale: An update and review.
Personality and Individual Differences, 47, 385-395.

The Barratt Impulsiveness Scale (BIS-11) calculator is created by QxMD.

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