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Cyberslacking and the Procrastination Superhighway: A Web-Based Survey of Online Procrastination, Attitudes, and Emotion

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This study was designed to explore the extent to which time spent online was related to self reports of procrastination. A sample of 308 participants (Mean age = 29.4 years, SD = 12.0, 198 females) from various regions of North America completed a survey posted to the World Wide Web. Data collected included demographic information, attitudes toward the Internet, amount of time spent online (at home, work, and school), trait procrastination, and measures of positive and negative emotion. Results demonstrated that 50.7% of the respondents reported frequent Internet procrastination, and respondents spent 47% of online time procrastinating. Internet procrastination was positively correlated with perceiving the Internet as entertaining, a relief from stress, and paradoxically, as an important tool. Internet procrastination was also positively correlated with trait procrastination and negative emotions. Implications regarding Internet procrastination are discussed in relation to procrastination theory and research as well as Neil Postman’s critique of technology.
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... For example, if a task is seen as challenging, tedious, or unpleasant, people try to avoid it (Seneecal et al., 1997). On the other hand, the internet offers numerous enjoyable distractions and is often characterized as a means of obtaining a fun, interesting, and entertaining experience that helps relieve perceived stress (Lavoie & Pychyl, 2001). Similarly, screen devices (computer, tablet, smartphone, TV) provide gratification to eliminate leisure boredom. ...
... Five common traits that cause procrastination were identified as task aversiveness, potential rewards, the time delay of these rewards, self-control, and impulsivity (Zhang et al., 2019). On the other hand, procrastination may occur when someone engages in behaviors that they enjoy, such as watching entertaining television, while deliberately deferring the execution of other (more important or demanding) tasks (Lavoie & Pychyl, 2001;Reinecke et al., 2014). This is consistent with Geng and colleague's (Geng et al., 2018) findings, which indicated that procrastinators postponed more of their plans mainly due to the enjoyable options (e.g., internet), which was interpreted as a lack of desire to resist temptations during planned activities. ...
... This is consistent with Geng and colleague's (Geng et al., 2018) findings, which indicated that procrastinators postponed more of their plans mainly due to the enjoyable options (e.g., internet), which was interpreted as a lack of desire to resist temptations during planned activities. A large body of research also demonstrated that media use (Lavoie & Pychyl, 2001;Reinecke et al., 2014;Reinecke & Hofmann, 2016), internet use (Reinecke et al., 2018;Yang et al., 2019), and mobile devices (Çebi et al., 2019) are all common ways to procrastinate. Overall, empirical investigations and theoretical explanations clearly enlighten the relationships between MSA and procrastination. ...
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Self-control is always crucial in many areas of life. Therefore, self-control failure is the source of many of the difficulties people face in their lives and also at the center of several problems, especially among adolescents. In this regard, the purpose of the study was to examine the mediating role of multi-screen addiction (MSA) in the relationship between self-control and procrastination among adolescents by using structural equation modeling (SEM). A cross-sectional design and an online questionnaire was used in this study. The study group composed of 390 adolescents studying at various high schools in Turkey. The results of correlation analysis showed that self-control was negatively correlated with MSA and procrastination. MSA also positively correlated with procrastination. Furthermore, the findings showed that MSA mediated the relationship between self-control and procrastination. The fit index of the SEM was found to be satisfactory. The results of the study were addressed in the context of the existing literature, and then suggestions were presented. Supplementary information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s12144-021-02472-2.
... In this manner, the psycho-social effects of the internet, which is very commonly used among young people, are of extreme importance. While some of the studies on the topic present the negative effects of internet use on psychological well-being (Kraut et al., 1998;Mathers et al., 2009;Rosen, 2006), some others reveal the positive dimension of this effect (Lavoie and Pychyl, 2001;La Rose et al., 2003;Morahan -Martin, 2005). ...
... additionally it was also concluded that depression and internet usage for general entertainment positively correlated. This result can be interpreted that the people who have negative psychological conditions can use the internet for overcome these bad mood(Pychyl, 2001; Chou, 2001; La Rose vd., 2003;Morahan-Martin, 2005). Internet usage for social aims canAlternative Explanations?, Social Science Computer Review, 23, 39-48. ...
Conference Paper
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Different discussions have been making about positive and negative effects of new information and communication technologies in academia, at last decades. Depression is one of the negative important indicators of psychological well being. It is important that negative effects of these new technologies on young people’s psychological well being. This study intend to show level of Turkish university students’ depression as a negative indicator of psychological well-being, and types of internet usage (communication, entertainment, and informative). Add to this, the research aim to investigate that the relationship between depression, and internet usage types (communication, entertainment, and informative) among Turkish university students. A survey was conducted on two thousand eight hundred and six (2806) students who attend twenty six (26) universities that located on whole Turkey. Different sampling techniques were used such as cluster, purposeful and random sampling for representing all Turkey university students. Data was collected via a questionnaire which included different subscales such as depression, internet usage types and individual differences. Results indicated that 49.5 % of participants have depression at medium or high degree. Also participants’ daily average internet usage time is 118 minutes. Students more frequently use to internet purpose of communication and entertainment while they use less purpose of information. In additionally, internet usage for entertainment and communication was positively and significantly correlated with depression. Lastly it was concluded that general internet usage was positively and significantly correlated with depression.
... Both academic and mainstream media have discussed how employees use IT devices that are connected to the internet, such as computers, tablets, and smartphones, for personal, non-work-related activities (Batabyal & Bhal, 2020). This behavior is referred to by various terminologies, such as 'workplace internet deviance' (Zoghbi Manrique de Lara, 2006), 'cyberslacking' (Lavoie & Pychyl, 2001) and 'cyberloafing' (Lim, 2002). ...
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The aim of this study is to find out whether cyberloafing and person‐organization fit has a positive effect on employee performance, and whether innovative work behavior plays a mediating role in this relationship. The study takes a quantitative approach using partial least squares structural equation modelling with data from 210 online questionnaires that were distributed to employees in the banking sector in Indonesia who had access to the internet at the workplace, and were allowed to use it for non‐work activities (i.e., cyberloafing). The study shows a positive relationship between innovative work behavior, and both cyberloafing and person‐organization fit. It also shows that innovative work behavior acts as a mediator between cyberloafing, person‐organization fit, and employee performance. The study advances the management literature by showing how cyberloafing and person‐organization fit influences employee performance through innovative work behavior, and provides new insights into the antecedents of cyberloafing. In addition, by clarifying the type of situations in which practitioners should adopt a positive or negative view towards cyberloafing, it provides guidance for those who wish to address the issue of cyberloafing and employee performance in their organization.
... If persons have not felt left out and not been considered important in an organization they would take out their reaction on delaying the tasks ultimately risking their mental health (DeArmond et al., 2014). Belongingness theory states that not getting the satisfaction to belong somewhere or have better interpersonal relationship leads to stress that ends up delaying work and gives a bad effect on mental health (Lavoie and Pychyl, 2001;Metin et al., 2016). Hence, this study has reached the following hypothesis; ...
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This study aimed to identify the influence of workplace cyber ostracism on employee online work engagement and employee mental well-being with the mediating roles of remote work challenges such as loneliness, procrastination, work-home interference, and ineffective communication. As amidst lockdown due to COVID-19, the data was collected from 303 respondents through an online questionnaire that was distributed in virtual groups among friends, relatives, and other fellows who were working in the private sector organizations of Pakistan. The hypotheses were tested using the partial least square structural equation modeling PLS-SEM technique. The findings of this study showed that workplace cyber ostracism has a positive and significant impact on employee online work engagement and employee mental well-being. Moreover, results also demonstrated that loneliness, ineffective communication, procrastination, and work-home interference positively and significantly mediate the relationship between workplace cyber ostracism, employee online work engagement, and employee mental well-being. Furthermore, discussion, implications, and limitations were also discussed in this research article.
... Hedonic systems, such as short-form videos, are perceived by users as entertainment and provide relief from stress, causing users to spend increasing time on activities unrelated to their daily work (Lavoie and Pychyl, 2001). Over time, procrastinators come to regard shortform videos as a tool for procrastination and repeatedly engage in viewing them (Hern andez et al., 2019). ...
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... In other words, guilt is a motivator for the individual to take reparative action and avoid failure next time, whereas shame motivates one to hide, avoid, or sink to the floor (Tangney et al., 1992). In a study of dispositional procrastination on the internet, a positive correlation was found between dispositional procrastination and feelings of guilt about 'cyberguilt' or using the Internet to avoid doing tasks that require completion (Lavoie & Pychyl, 2001). The notion of association between feeling of guilt and consumption of entertaining media is also supported by findings by Panek (2014). ...
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The relationship between different emotions with situational (e.g., academic) and dispositional (chronic) procrastination was examined extensively in the literature since the early days of procrastination research. A review of empirical studies over the past 40 years might shed light on the role of emotions in procrastination in different contexts with different populations. The current paper reviewed 83 studies (from 1977 to 2021) exploring the relationship between 9 different emotions and situational and dispositional procrastination. The emotions examined, listed in the order of the extent of focus of scholarly research are: anxiety, fear, shame, guilt, regret, boredom, frustration, anger, and revenge. Findings highlight the important role of emotions as motives, antecedents, correlates, or consequences of situational and dispositional procrastination. Based on the findings, a lack of a comprehensive theory summarizing dispositional and situational procrastination is pointed out and avenues for future research are outlined and recommended.
... A possible explanation might be that the stressful life events measured in this study were what adolescents have experienced during the past 12 months, including various aspects of life events and cumulative life stress. Cumulative stressful life events have an extremely negative influence on adolescent emotions (Monroe, 2008;Wang & Mesman, 2015); therefore, they may seek Internet usage directly to relieve stress and regulate these negative emotions (Jun & Choi, 2015;Lavoie & Pychyl, 2001;Leung, 2006). ...
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Although prior studies have investigated the association between stressful life events and adolescents’ problematic Internet use, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. The self-worth orientation theory assumes that self-worth is the ultimate motivation of human behavior, and it derives from a self-worth supporting system, including trust or support from significant others and personal achievement, among others. Therefore, stressful life events might predict adolescents’ problematic Internet use by undermining their self-worth. However, physical activity might moderate the effect of stressful life events on self-worth. To examine these hypotheses, 2,058 Chinese adolescents (Mage = 14.03 years, SD = 0.83 years) were recruited to complete a series of questionnaires. The results showed that self-worth partially mediated the relationship between stressful life events and problematic Internet use, and physical activity moderated the association between stressful life events and self-worth. In addition, the negative relationship between stressful life events and self-worth was stronger for adolescents with higher levels of physical activity, in line with the reverse risk-buffering model. Further multi-group analysis showed that the current theoretical model was robust in both male and female groups. This study has certain theoretical and practical significance for the prevention of adolescents’ problematic Internet use.
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Procrastination is an important source of losses in organizational productivity. It is also an interpersonal concern in work teams, and often the cause of personal frustration. Rich accounts exist in the scholarly literature about an individual’s personality and behavioral traits able to explain procrastinatory attitudes, but the environmental factors that moderate procrastination are less understood, and especially not so in information technology (IT) research. Our study is a systematic review of the literature in four behavioral sciences. It seeks to organize procrastination-related factors that are external to the individual, and to present implications for the IT workplace. Broadly, we conclude that the IT workplace is a rich tapestry of positive and negative sources of procrastination influences weaved into the timely fulfillment of tasks. We also reach at a surprisingly new understanding of Leavitt’s system model (a model that has been in use for decades in the study of IT phenomena), i.e., the existence of forces that act in opposite directions regarding procrastination.
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