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Prevalence of Procrastination among Samples of Adults

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Explored the prevalence of avoidant, arousal, and decisional types of procrastination among 64 members of a public gathering, 54 professionals, 59 bank employees, and 34 university managers. At 4 public meetings, Ss (mean age 47.6 yrs) completed measures of demography and decisional, avoidant, and arousal procrastination. Results show that about 20% of the adult community population claimed to be chronic procrastinators, with the highest rates of all 3 procrastination types reported by members of the general public compared to other groups. Ss who were separated, divorced, or widowed reported higher rates of procrastination (independent of number of children) than Ss who were currently married or never married. Ss with high school education or less reported higher rates of decisional procrastination than Ss with college or postcollege educations. Occupational groups differed on decisional procrastination. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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... Can procrastination be a good thing? The answer to this question is probably 'no' based on an extensive body of literature that regards procrastination as a maladaptive and self-handicapping behavior that results from failed self-regulation (Lay, 1986;Tice & Baumeister, 1997) and often leads to deleterious consequences such as poorer task performance and reduced health/well-being (Harriott & Ferrari, 1996;Steel, 2007;Van Eerde, 2003). Counterbalancing the negative view that has dominated the literature, recent research asserts that procrastination also has adaptive aspects which could be associated with desirable work and life outcomes (e.g., Chowdhury & Pychyl, 2018;Chu & Choi, 2005;Corkin, Yu, & Lindt, 2011;Gendron, 2011;Habelrih & Hicks, 2015;Kim & Seo, 2013;Klassen, Krawchuk, Lynch, & Rajani, 2008;Schraw, Wadkins, & Olafson, 2007;Seo, 2013;Shin & Grant, 2021). ...
... The term procrastination started gaining its negative connotations (e.g., laziness, loafing, idleness, counterproductivity) only after the Industrial Revolution (especially the emergence of mass production) when there was an ever-increasing demand for workers who were able to complete assigned tasks on time (Ferrari et al., 1995;Milgram, 1992). On balance, psychological research on this topic has revealed that even though excessive, chronic procrastination is generally harmful (Harriott & Ferrari, 1996;Steel, 2007;Van Eerde, 2003), people could benefit from procrastinating on a task when more information and resources are needed (Strunk, Cho, Steele, & Bridges, 2013), when an incubation is helpful to resolving cognitive fixation (Shin & Grant, 2021;Sio & Rudowicz, 2007), and/or when the pressure imposed by a more proximal deadline helps increase work motivation and productivity (Corkin et al., 2011;Schraw et al., 2007;Strunk, Lane, & Mwavita, 2018; also see Steel & König, 2006 for the temporal motivation theory). ...
... First, all these studies examined AP in academic settings using convenience samples of undergraduate students, so that it remains untested whether AP in other contexts/samples would be based on the same personality factors. In fact, researchers have consistently found college students to be particularly prone to academic procrastination (both passively and actively) as compared to other groups of adults (e.g., the workforce or community samples) mainly because of their younger age and the more procrastination-friendly university environment (Harriott & Ferrari, 1996;Hicks & Storey, 2015;Schraw et al., 2007;Steel, 2007;. Unlike college students who have a lot of freedom and flexibility in their own time management, corporate employees rely more on job tasks/goals predefined by their organizations and are often under the influence of schedules and social norms in a team, which would restrain the opportunity for delaying assigned work (Nguyen, Steel, & Ferrari, 2013). ...
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What are active procrastinators like? Past research examining the Big Five personality predictors of active procrastination (AP) has found Extraversion and Emotional Stability to be predictive of such a behavioral characteristic. Yet, previous studies suffered from the fact that data were solely collected from undergraduates in academic settings using self-reports of personality. Attempting to extend the personality-AP associations among college students to working adults as well as to expand our knowledge on the personality profiles of active procrastinators according to both self- and other reports, the present study investigated the predictive effects of N = 173 full-time employees’ Big Five personality traits on their AP behaviors in the workplace via self- and supervisor-rated personality. Results revealed that Extraversion and Emotional Stability predicted AP across both rating sources and that in the supervisor-rating results only, the trait Agreeableness emerged as another (negative) predictor of AP. In light of recent developments with multimethod studies in the field of personality research, we discussed possible reasons for the current findings together with the study implications for research and practice related to AP at work.
... Procrastination often occurs with respect to important goals such as health (Sirois, 2004;Stead et al., 2010) and education (Schouwenburg et al., 2004). Procrastination also appears to be extremely widespread (Steel, 2007), with 15-25% of adults being chronically affected (Harriott & Ferrari, 1996; and, while there may be differences in rates of procrastination among different populations (e.g., Steel & Ferrari 2013), virtually everyone is guilty of it at least occasionally (see Steel 2007 andKlingsieck 2013 for reviews). This should come as no surprise: as Ainslie remarks, "it always feels better to defer costs" (2010: 12; cf. ...
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We tend to seek immediate gratification at the expense of long-term reward. In fact, the more distant a reward is from the present moment?the more we tend to discount it. This phenomenon is known as temporal discounting. Engaging in mental time travel plausibly enables subjects to overcome temporal discounting, but it is unclear how, exactly, it does so. In this paper, we develop a framework designed to explain the effects of mental time travel on temporal discounting by showing how the subject?s temporally extended self enables mental time travel to generate appropriate emotions that, in turn, via metacognitive monitoring and control, generate appropriate behaviours. Building on existing approaches we outline an initial framework, involving the concepts of emotion and the temporally extended self, to explain the effects of mental time travel on resisting temptation. We then show that this initial framework has difficulty explaining the effects of mental time travel on a closely related phenomenon, namely, overcoming procrastination. We next argue that, in order to explain these effects, the concept of emotion needs to be refined, and the concept of metacognition needs to be added to the framework: emotions involve an action-readiness component, which, through metacognitive monitoring and control, can enable the subject to resist temptation and overcome procrastination. Finally, we respond to an objection to our account?based on the somatic marker hypothesis?such that metacognition is not necessary to account for the role of emotions in decision-making.
... Arenas et al., 2022;Muller and Niessen, 2019;Wang et al., 2021). Procrastination is a trait that leads to daily procrastinating behaviors and affects between 15 and 20% of working adults (Harriott and Ferrari, 1996); at work, it is characterized by being a self-regulatory failure of tasks and is associated with high costs for the individual (e.g. dismissal) and the organization (drop in productivity) (Nguyen et al., 2013). ...
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The research aims to study the dynamics of academic procrastination and its impact on the mental health of students during the transition to distance learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was identified a declining tendency of overall rates of academic procrastination and at the same time increase in the number of carriers of mid and high levels of academic procrastination. The decline in the general rates of academic procrastination at the beginning of 2021 testifies to the adaptation processes experienced by students to the conditions of distance learning. It was documented that students' academic procrastination is accompanied by a steady negative emotional tension. During the transition to distance learning, the intensity of students' learning activity has increased, which altogether causes stress as one of the main reasons for the academic procrastination among future psychologists. The study identified a risk of academic procrastination manifestation among students for their mental health, which provides a basis for developing and testing a program to prevent the phenomenon of academic procrastination among degree-seeking students.
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A halogatás a felsőoktatásban jelentős problémát okoz, és a hallgatók nagy százalékát érinti. Vizsgálatunkban arra kerestük a választ, hogy a halogatás összefügg-e a tanulmányi eredményekkel, és a felvételi pontszámokkal. Egyetemi hallgatókkal (N=104) töltettünk ki kényelmi mintavétellel egy kérdés csomagot, amelyben Lay féle halogatás teszt és saját összeállítású kérdések is szerepeltek a felvételi pontszámról, a tanulmányi átlagról, és a félévhalasztás okáról, ha volt ilyen. Eredményeink részben alátámasztják a nemzetközi szakirodalom eredményeit, amennyiben a nagyobb mértékű halogatás és a kedvezőtlenebb tanulmányi átlag összefügg (r(82)=-0,335, p<0,005). A többi tényező nem mutatott összefüggést a halogatással, amit a kevés elemszámmal magyarázunk. A halogatás mértékét nem tudja szignifikáns módon előre jelezni a félévhalasztás megléte vagy annak hiánya, viszont az előző féléves átlag eredménye (p=0,002) szignifikáns módon együttjárást mutat a halogatással, és a magyarázott variancia-hányad is kellően magas. Konklúzió: a halogatással kapcsolatos vizsgálatot érdemes a jövőben kiegészíteni, és nagyobb elemszámmal folytatni.
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This paper considered three studies designed to examine procrastinatory behavior. In Study I, a general form (G) of a true-false procrastination scale was created. This form was based on an earlier version of the scale containing parallel forms A and B. Procrastination was positively related to measures of disorganization and independent of need-achievement, energy level, and self-esteem. High scorers on the procrastination scale were more likely to return their completed inventory late. Procrastination was unrelated to grade-point average (R = −10). In Study II, subjects completed Form G of the procrastination scale and a variation of Little's (1983) Personal Projects Questionnaire. Based on ratings of their personal projects, procrastinators and nonprocrastinators were distinguished in a number of ways, foremost being the nonprocrastinator's more positive response to the project dimension of stress and the procrastinator's greater sensitivity to how enjoyable the project was in terms of time spent. In Study III, after completing a personality inventory, air-passengers awaiting their flight departure were asked to take an envelope with them and to mail it back on a designated date. Procrastinators were less accurate in doing so than were nonprocrastinators. Various aspects of procrastinatory behavior were discussed, including a reconsideration of the defining of the construct.
Overcoming procrastination New York lnsr~tute for Rational Living Christmas and procrastination: ex Iaining lack of d~l~gence at a "real-world" task deadline
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  • J R Ferrari
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