Jim H. Patton, Ph.D.

We regret to inform you that Dr. Patton passed away suddenly November 1, 2018.
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Professor of Psychology, Neuroscience, and Biomedical Sciences

Graduate Program Director, Ph.D. Program


Ph.D., Baylor University, 1978

M.S., Idaho State University, 1973

B.S., Idaho State University, 1971


Dr. Patton joined the Baylor faculty in 1980. Prior to joining the faculty, he was an NIMH-NINCDS postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science and the Department of Human Biological Chemistry and Genetics at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Dr. Patton is married and he and his wife have one grown son. Dr. Patton, an avid sensation-seeker, enjoys outdoor activities and has spent time over the years in remote and wilderness areas mountaineering, rock climbing, trekking, canoeing, hunting, and especially enjoys fly fishing and bird watching. When less in need of enhanced arousal he works as a Boy Scout leader and reads history of neuroscience, philosophy and theology.

Academic Interest and Research

Dr. Patton's primary interest has been the biological basis of mental disorders and he is especially interested in understanding the nature of and basis for impulsive behavior and sensation seeking. The personality trait of impulsivity, with the possible exception of intelligence, influences more aspects of human behavior, e.g. from predicting educational success to determining whether someone is able to conform to the mores and folkways of their culture, than any other personality trait. Folks often wonder: why do otherwise bright people do stupid things?

Representative Publications

Barratt, E., Patton, J. H., Olsson, G., & Zuker, G. (1981). Impulsivity and paced tapping. Journal of Motor Behavior, 13, 286-300.

Barratt, E., and Patton, J. H. (1983). Impulsivity: Cognitive, behavioral, and psychophysiological Correlates. In Marvin Zuckerman (Ed.), The Biological basis of impulsivity and sensation seeking. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 77-116.

Gerbing, D., Ahadi, S., and Patton, J. H. (1987). Toward a conceptualization of impulsivity: components across the behavioral and self-report domains. Multivariate Behavioral Research. 22, 357-379.

Hix, M., Ebner, D., Stanford, M., Pantle, M., Kerr, J., & Patton, J. (1994). The Rorschach and CPI personality classifications. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 78, 142.

Patton, J.H. (1994). Sensation seeking. In V.S. Ramachandran (Ed.). Encyclopedia of human behavior, Vol. 4, 1301-1310. San Diego, CA: Academic Press Inc.

Patton, J. H., Stanford, M.S., & Barratt, E.S. (1995). Factor Structure of the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 51, 768-774.

Stanford, M.S., Mathias, C.W., Dougherty, D.M., Patton, J.H. (2009). Fifty years of the Barratt impulsiveness scale: An update and review. Personality and Individual Differences, 47, 385-395.

Patton, J.H. & Stanford, M.S. (In Press 2010). Psychology of impulsivity. In Jon Grant and Marc Potenza (Eds.), The Oxford handbook of impulse control disorders. New York: Oxford.

Patton, J.H. (In Press 2011). Sensation seeking. In V.S. Ramachandran (Ed.), Encyclopedia of human behavior. San Diego, CA: Academic Press, Inc.

Ph.D. Graduate:

Brian Rundle

Current Ph.D. Student:

Alex Tyra

Courses Taught at Baylor

  • NSC 1306 - Introduction to Neuroscience
  • PSY 3355 - Drugs and Behavior
  • NSC 3356 - Neuropharmacology
  • PSY 3380 - Forensic Psychology
  • NSC 5330 - Neuropharmacology
  • NSC 5430 - Neuroanatomy