EF Challenge — Response Inhibition

by Laurie Moore Skillings, SCAC


 Response inhibition is the capacity to think before acting, and to resist the urge to say or do something.  This ability allows a person the time to evaluate a situation and how his or her behavior might affect it.

Response inhibition
is key to effective executive functions skills.

Response inhibition is one of the first executive functions skills to emerge during infancy, usually around 5 to 12 months of age.  At that time, we provided our frontal lobes to our children by keeping their environment safe.  We did this when we used gates, playpens, and put potentially dangerous items out of reach.  As diligent as we were, inevitable accidents would occur and along with them came natural consequences.

When a person has difficulties with response inhibition, it may present in some of the following ways:

blurting out answers before being called on

careless mistakes in schoolwork

difficulty following home rules

difficulty following school rules

difficulty following workplace rules

beginning task without listening for full instructions

Click here for a Response Inhibition strategy.