It is well known that adults lose cognitive control as they age, but why? The developmental origins of impulsivity may provide some insight.
Impulsivity is a personality trait characterized by acting on one’s impulses without any regard to the consequences. This means that an impulsive person might make a choice in the moment, even if it will have negative consequences later.
It can be difficult to resist these urges because they seem very powerful and immediate at the time. Impulsiveness might lead someone to smoke cigarettes or overeat when trying to lose weight- something that would be much more difficult for someone with better self-control skills.
Many studies have found links between impulsiveness and other psychological disorders such as ADHD, schizophrenia, and impulsiveness.
This is not surprising because impulsive people have difficulty controlling their thoughts, feelings, behaviors, or urges to do something other than what they are supposed to be doing.
When a person thinks about the consequences of an act for too long before committing it, this could lead them to think that the reward will never come if you wait around- which can result in more rash decisions being made without considering future costs.
Those with better self-control skills should be able to stop themselves from making these bad choices by weighing out the pros and cons beforehand.
The development of impulsivity has been found to start as early as age four years old! Children at this stage of neurological growth are still developing impulse control mechanisms within their brains