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Research Fellows Directory

Frederick Verbruggen

Professor Frederick Verbruggen

Research Fellow


University of Exeter

Research summary

I want to provide a novel account of how impulsive actions arise and how they can be controlled.

Impulse control is really important for individual well-being, and some have even argued the ability to control our impulses and urges makes us human. Therefore, I find this one of the most important and fascinating topics in psychology and science in general.

Current research on impulsive actions focuses almost exclusively on how people can stop actions when external control signals are presented (without taking other cognitive processes, and emotional, motivational, and situational factors, into account). This strong focus on response inhibition has resulted in narrow and incomplete views on impulsive action. Therefore, the overarching aim of the project is to provide exciting and reliable new insights into how impulsive actions arise at different processing stages and how they can be controlled. In the last couple of months, I started working on a new theoretical framework. My aim is to offer a precise description of the multiple determinants of impulsive action, to carefully investigate the underlying control mechanisms to open the executive-control ‘black box’, and to integrate concepts from various literatures.

Interests and expertise (Subject groups)

Grants awarded

Executive Control of Impulsive Behaviours

Scheme: Wolfson Research Merit Awards

Dates: Oct 2016 - Sep 2021

Value: £50,000