Impulsivity — Reflexivity and Neuroefficiency of Intellectual Activity



A brief review of current research into the problem of cognitive neuroefficiency revealed a large array of conflicting data. Some studies provide evidence of lower energy consumption and faster cognitive activity in respondents with high IQ, while others show higher energy consumption and slower speed. Other datasets indicate that respondents with high intelligence are more reflexive than those with low intelligence. The heterogeneity of the samples is indicated as a key reason for the inconsistency of the data. This study aimed to compare behavioral and electroencephalographic data in groups of respondents homogeneous in terms of (a) sex, (b) age, and (c) manifestations of the cognitive style Impulsivity-Reflexivity. The study sample consisted of three age groups: 92 people aged 13.73 ± 0.45 years (44.5% of men), 123 people aged 15.46 ± 0.66 years (52% of men), 36 people aged 21.11±2.87 years (44.4% of men). The diagnostic procedure included the collection of behavioral data (Cognitive Personality Style Questionnaire CPS-Q, Raven’s SPM, Amtrhauer’s Intelligence Structure Test, Rusalov’s Personality Formal Dynamic Properties Questionnaire) and data on the bioelectrical activity of the cerebral cortex at rest and during the detection of similar figures J. Kagan. Comparative data analysis (U-test; H-test) showed that women demonstrate significantly higher intelligence indicators, detect similar figures with greater accuracy, but at the same time expend more energy in terms of the EEG power spectrum, compared with men. Significant differences in intelligence and Impulsivity-Reflexivity among age groups were not found. However, a significant decrease in the EEG power spectrum was revealed under electrodes O1, C3, Oz, Pz, CP4 while solving Kagan’s tasks from the younger to the older age group. A paradoxical result was obtained when comparing groups of respondents significantly different in terms of the Impulsivity-Reflexivity of the Kagan test. Significant differences in the EEG power spectrum, CPS-Q Impulsivity and Reflexivity scales, and intelligence were not found. A hypothesis was put forward about the false discriminant validity of the Kagan test for respondents with low IQ.

General Information

Keywords: impulsivity, reflexivity, EEG power spectrum, gender differences, age differences, intelligence

Journal rubric: Cognitive Psychology

Article type: scientific article


Acknowledgements. The authors are grateful to the students from Moscow and Ufa who voluntarily took part in this study.

Received: 13.05.2022


For citation: Volkova E.V., Dokuchaev D.A. Impulsivity — Reflexivity and Neuroefficiency of Intellectual Activity. Eksperimental'naâ psihologiâ = Experimental Psychology (Russia), 2022. Vol. 15, no. 2, pp. 125–143. DOI: 10.17759/exppsy.2022150210. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Elena V. Volkova, Doctor of Psychology, Head of the Laboratory of Psychology of Abilities and Mental Resources named after V.N. Druzhinin, Institute of Psychology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Denis A. Dokuchaev, Post-Graduate Student, Junior Researcher, Laboratory of the Psychology of Abilities and Mental Resources named after V.N. Druzhinin, Institute of Psychology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:



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