Impulsive people think of others before themselves when it comes to loved ones, a study has found.
Researchers say that when faced with the choice between sacrificing time and energy for a loved one and taking the self-centred route, those who are most impulsive pick their nearest and dearest.
Writing in journal Psychological Science, Dr Francesca Righetti said: “For decades psychologists have assumed that the first impulse is selfish and that it takes self-control to behave in a pro-social manner.
“We did not believe that this was true in every context, and especially not in close relationships.”
Dr Righetti and colleagues from VU University in Amsterdam decided to see whether impulsivity in close relationships might lead to more selfless behaviour.
Her team found that participants who were more impulsive were more willing to sacrifice time and energy for their romantic partner or best friend than participants whose self-control wasn’t taxed.