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Procrastination and Task Avoidance--Theory, Research and Treatment


Chapters (11)

Chronic procrastination and task-avoidant behavior are extraordinarily common problems. As we will suggest later in this chapter and throughout this book, procrastination is often related to a variety of psychiatric syndromes. Moreover, as it will be hypothesized in Chapter 7, procrastinatory behavior may constitute a causal stress that contributes to psychological dysfunctions and maladaptive behavior patterns.
Despite the lack of a singular definition of the key term and, until recently, a relative lack of interest displayed toward this topic by the scientific community, there have been several forays into research regarding procrastination. This Chapter reviews empirical research, highlighting areas warranting further inquiry, with emphasis on contrasting the past and potential contributions of various theoretical orientations. Later Chapters will focus on specific, novel theories or new data that are presently unavailable.
As indicated in Chapter 1, there is reason to believe that procrastination is an important subject for empirical research. Tasks that are not completed promptly may reduce both individual performance and organizational effectiveness (Ferrari, 1993a; 1994). Furthermore, they may be a source of stress to those individuals who are expected to complete the tasks (McKean, 1990). Articles and books on procrastination have appeared recently in the popular press (e.g., Burka & Yuen, 1983; Cornyn-Selby, 1986; Ellis & Knaus, 1977; Gagliard, 1984; Knaus, 1973). Useful theory and research have begun to be conducted. However, before theory construction and substantial research are performed, precise measurement of the construct is needed. Our purpose in this Chapter is to address the psychometric properties of several self-report measures of procrastination.
It has been estimated that over 70% of college students engage in procrastination (Ellis & Knaus, 1977). Solomon and Rothblum (1984) concluded that academic procrastination may depend on the task: Among university students in an introductory psychology course, 46% of students reported procrastination when writing a term paper, 30% when reading weekly assignments, 28% when studying for exams, 23% on attendance tasks, and 11% on administrative tasks. In addition, they examined possible causes of academic procrastination, as perceived by students. Results indicated that fear of failure and task aversiveness were the primary motives reported. These motives have been replicated with Dutch university students as well (Schouwenburg, 1992a).
The defining characteristic of trait procrastinators is the extension of temporal sequences between their intentions and their corresponding goal-directed behavior. Procrastinators are often acutely aware of these intention-behavior gaps. For example, student procrastinators will recall numerous occasions on which their study behavior failed to match their temporal intentions. Trait procrastinators may also anticipate such discrepancies in their future behavior. These self-cognitions should have implications for the everyday affective experiences of such individuals. This Chapter addresses these implications, drawing from Higgins’s (1987) self-discrepancy theory—a theoretical account that may be most useful in understanding and explaining the behavior of procrastinators.
examine in detail the proposed association between perfectionism and procrastination / a multidimensional approach to the study of perfectionism is adopted to clarify the link between perfectionism and procrastination / examine the similarities and differences between dimensions of perfectionism and procrastination at a conceptual level / present a review of existing empirical data on perfectionism and procrastination / a multidimensional approach to the study of perfectionism is utilized to demonstrate that procrastination is a response to a form of social evaluation that involves the perceived imposition of unrealistic expectations on the self / directions for future investigation in this area are discussed (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Procrastination is defined typically as an irrational tendency to delay tasks that should be completed (Lay, 1986). Procrastination is believed to be associated with several cognitive, behavioral, and affective correlates and is regarded as a “dysfunction of important human abilities” in routine tasks and critical life tasks (Milgram, Sroloff, & Rosenbaum, 1988, p. 210). The extent of the dysfunction is reflected by estimates indicating that at least 25% of students suffer from severe levels of procrastination (see Hill, Hill, Chabot, & Barrall, 1978; McCown, Johnson, & Petzel, 1989b). Given the potential importance of the procrastination construct, it is perhaps not surprising that it is a topic that has been discussed at length by clinicians and by counselors (e.g., Burka & Yuen, 1983; Ellis & Knaus, 1977; Rarer, 1983).
Throughout this volume we have noted that procrastinators differ in emotional, cognitive, and behavioral domains compared to nonprocrastinators. Research findings reported in several Chapters indicate positive relations between procrastination and a wide variety of variables such as depression, forgetfulness, disorganization, dysfunctional impulsivity, sensation-seeking, perfectionism, noncompetitiveness, and decreased energy and self-control.
The purpose of the next two Chapters is to present suggested clinical guidelines regarding interventions for the treatment of decisional and task procrastination. Unfortunately, only a very small literature exists that includes outcome data regarding the treatment of procrastination. Many of these studies remain unpublished, existing either in dissertations or in other sources (e.g., manuscripts that have not been peer reviewed, requests for funding, and internal evaluation data). The reason for this is because procrastination-treatment programs are usually not designed for research purposes. Data, if collected at all, is obtained for program evaluation or other internal needs. There is an absence of double-blind attention-placebo trials, which are usually considered necessary to establish demonstrated efficacy of a treatment. Because of the lack of comprehensive outcome studies, many of our treatment recommendations rely on clinical experience. Other interventions draw on our unpublished work, which spans the past several years. We admit that at times our methodology is less satisfactory than we would like. Our hope is that these clinically derived interventions can eventually be subjected to empirical testing.
In Chapter 9 we presented a theory-based, structured therapeutic program aimed at reducing procrastination. This time-limited program was primarily relevant to treatment of procrastinating college students. The premises regarding the etiologies of procrastination that we introduce in this book were used to shape the content of those interventions. Specifically, we stated that procrastination is most typically caused by two distinct and apparently independent etiologies: (1) neurotic overarousal, which causes task avoidance because of anxiousness or fear associated with undertaking specific projects or class assignments; and (2) a lack of conscientiousness associated with not giving sufficient forethought to deadlines, under-arousal regarding upcoming goals, and possibly also impulsiveness. We also presented some preliminary outcome data suggesting that the brief interventions highlighted in the preceding Chapter had some efficacy over and above an attention-placebo treatment group, traditional psychotherapy, or a simple study-skills training group.
Throughout this volume, emphasis has been placed on reporting empirical findings and on the extension of these findings to clinical and counseling intervention. In addition, trait procrastination has been discussed from a wide variety of perspectives, and promising directions for research have been presented. Thus, as one of the few books on procrastination, the work in this volume represents a systematic effort to present and integrate often disparate psychological areas.
... According to Milgram (1992in Ferrari et al., 1995 procrastination behavior is increasingly popular in the era of the industrial revolution, procrastination is the behavior of modern society and is common in countries with advanced technology. There is a term that reveals that the more industrialized a society, the more prominent the delay behavior. ...
... Thus it can be said that procrastination is a behavior that can occur in every realm of life so that this behavior becomes a common problem that is commonly carried out by almost every individual. Delay can appear at the level of perception where sensory impression goes to mental processes and directly stimulates memory associated with negative emotions (Ferrari et al., 1995). In other words, delay is an individual's effort to avoid awkwardness in deciding how to start an activity. ...
... According to Ferrari et al., (1995) procrastination can appear at the level of perception where sensory impressions go to mental processes and directly stimulate memories associated with negative emotions. This shows that procrastination that appears in certain areas is possible because of feelings of discomfort with the activities to be carried out, such as assuming that these activities are difficult, boring, and scary so that strong negative emotions arise. ...
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Who thought children could do that academic procrastination? In fact, children, especially elementary school age, are in a period of volatile emotional changes, and it is very closely related to the development of independence, decision-making, and behavior such as 'procrastination'. This study used a qualitative approach with a phenomenological design to explore the academic procrastination of 14 elementary school students in Tangerang City. Therefore, the results of this study provide an overview of any subjects and tasks that students procrastinate. Then this study also found that emotion regulation is the main factor of this student's procrastination. Perceptions about subjects, laziness, and poor time management result from mental diversion from their negative feelings.
... atau mengakses jejaring sosial. Menurut (Ferrari et al., 1995) Prokrastinasi yang bersifat positif di sebut sebagai Functional Procartination dan prokrastinasi yang bersifat negarif di sebut sebagai Dysfunctional Procrastination. ...
... Sebagai suatau perilaku atau kebiasaan penundaan, prokrastinasi terdapat didalam intikator dengan beberapa cirri, pernyataan ini menurut (Ferrari et al., 1995;Steel, 2007). Cirri atau aspek prokrastinasi dapat di bedakan menjadi empat yaitu, Perceived time , Intention -acti on, Emotional distress dan Perceived ability. ...
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Penelitian ini bertujuan untuk mengembangkan alat ukur dan menguji kelayakannya sehingga menghasilkan instrumen yang valid dan reliabel dalam megukur tingkat prokrastinasi pada siswa Sekolah Menengah Pertama (SMP). penelitian ini di susun dengan menggunakan prosedur model penelitia pengembangan ( Research & Development ) dengan model pengembangan oleh Thiagarajan yaitu 4D (four-D): define (pendefinisian), design (perancangan), develop (pengembangan), dan disseminate (penyebarluasan).. Subyek dalam penelitian pengembangan ini meliputi 5 pakar, yakni 3 dosen bimbingan konseling FIP Undiksha dan 2 guru bimbingan konseling di SMP Laboratorium dan SMP N 1 Banjar . Metode analisis data yang digunakan adalah uji validitas isi, uji validitas empiris dan uji reliabilitas. Pada uji validitas isi menggunakan rumus Formula Lawshe (1975), yaitu Content Validity Ratio (CVR) dan Content Validity Indeks (CVI) dengan hasil ∑CVR = 40 dan CVI 1 . Untuk uji validitas empiris, diperoleh melalui hasil uji coba instrumen kepada responden sebanyak 200 siswa.Diketahui bahwa hasil uji validitas empiris yaitu rhit > rtab dengan rumus pearson product moment melalui aplikasi SPSS, yang berarti semua butir instrumen memiliki status yang valid atau terpakai. Lalu pada uji reliabilitas, hasil perhitungan menunjukkan koefisien reliabilitas instrumen pengukuran prokrastinasi siswa Sekolah Menengah Pertama (SMP) sebesar 0.938 dengan responden sebanyak 200 siswa, apabila dibandingkan dengan rtab sebesar 0.244 pada taraf signifikansi 0.05% maka ralpa ≥ rtab sehingga instrumen dapat dikatakan reliabel. </p
Bu çalışmanın amacı, yetişkinler için Türkiye’nin dinî kültürel yapısına uygun bir ibadet erteleme ölçeği geliştirmektir. Erteleme hem olumlu hem de olumsuz durumlar için kullanılan bir kavramdır. Bilimsel çalışmalarda genellikle kavramın olumsuz yönü öne çıkarılmakta; kişinin kontrolünde olan ve yapılması gereken bir işin gerektiği zamanda yapılmamasını ifade etmektedir. Erteleme oldukça yaygın bir durumdur ve bireyin hayatının her alanında ortaya çıkabilir. Bilişsel, duyuşsal ve davranışsal olmak üzere üç boyutu olan erteleme konusuyla ilgili ülkemizde ve dünyada birçok çalışma yapılmıştır. Bu çalışmalar genel erteleme, akademik erteleme ve iş erteleme konularına ağırlık vermiştir. İbadet erteleme konusunda ise sınırlı sayıda çalışma yapılmıştır. Konuyla ilgili literatür incelendiğinde, ibadet ertelemeyle ilgili bir ölçek geliştirilmediği fark edilmiştir. İbadet erteleme ölçeği geliştirilmesinin hedeflendiği bu çalışmada, öncelikle konuyla ilgili literatür taranmış, 15 kişiyle derinlemesine mülakat yapılmış ve uzman görüşüne başvurulmuştur. Elde edilen bu veriler ile kişisel gözlem ve tecrübelerden de yararlanılarak ibadet erteleme ile ilgili bir kavram havuzu oluşturulmuştur. Bu kavram havuzundan yararlanılarak 49 maddelik taslak ölçek geliştirilmiştir. Bu aşamada ölçeğin kapsam geçerliliğini; yazım ve ölçme açısından uygunluğunu değerlendirmeleri için çeşitli uzmanların görüşlerine başvurulmuştur. Uzman görüşleri çerçevesinde; 19 madde ölçekten çıkarılmış, 4 madde ölçeğe eklenmiş, ölçme değerlendirme, imla ve dilbilgisi açısından bazı maddeler revize edilmiştir. Bu işlemler sonucunda 34 maddeye düşen ölçek, evreni yansıtacak küçük bir örneklem grubuna anlaşılabilirlik ve doldurma süresinin tespiti amacıyla uygulanmıştır. Bu uygulama sonucunda her eğitim seviyesindeki kişinin, ölçeği 4-5 dakikalık bir zaman diliminde cevaplayabildiği görülmüş ve bir maddenin farklı şekilde anlaşıldığı tespit edilerek düzeltilmiştir. Uygulamaya hazır hâle gelen ölçek, örnekleme sunulmadan önce Kırıkkale Üniversitesi Sosyal ve Beşeri Bilimler Araştırmaları Etik Kuruluna başvurularak onay alınmıştır. İlk uygulama 24.04.2023 ile 11.05.2023 arasında gerçekleştirilmiş ve ölçeği farklı demografik özelliklere sahip 400 kişinin uygun şekilde doldurduğu tespit edilmiştir. Katılımcılardan elde edilen veriler “R” programı üzerinde işlem yapmaya imkân veren Jamovi arayüzü ile analiz edilmiştir. Elde edilen verilerin uygunluğu KMO measure of sampling adequacy ve Barlett’s test of sphericity teknikleriyle kontrol edildikten sonra açımlayıcı faktör analizi ve temel bileşenler analizi yapılmıştır. Ayırt edicilik değeri olarak 0,40 düzeyi belirlenmiştir. Analizler sonucunda istenen ayırt ediciliğe sahip olmayan, birden fazla faktöre yakın oranda yük veren veya bir faktörün altında tek kalan maddeler çıkarılmıştır. Böylece 2 faktörlü 14 maddeden oluşan bir ölçek elde edilmiştir. Bu iki faktörün, toplam varyansın %52,6’sını açıkladığı ortaya çıkmıştır. Daha sonra ölçek doğrulayıcı faktör analizi için aynı evrenden alınan farklı bir örnekleme tekrar uygulanmıştır. Bu uygulamada geçerli kabul edilen 399 ölçek üzerinden yapılan analizlerde verilerin doğrulayıcı faktör analizi için uygun olduğu görülmüştür. Doğrulayıcı faktör analizinden elde edilen sonuçlar, açımlayıcı faktör analizinin bulgularını desteklemiştir. Her bir faktör altında yer alan tüm maddelerin birbiriyle uyumlu olup olmadığını kontrol etmek amacıyla güvenirlik analizi yapılmıştır. Cronbach's alfa (0,902) ve McDonald's omega (0,907) yöntemlerinin kullanıldığı güvenirlik analizi, ölçeğin yüksek düzeyde güvenirliğe sahip olduğunu ortaya koymuştur. Sonuç olarak mazeret bulanlar (8 madde) ve umursamazlar (6 madde) adı verilen iki boyuta sahip, geçerli, güvenilir ve kuramsal temeli güçlü bir ibadet erteleme ölçeği elde edilmiştir.
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Penelitian ini dilatar belakangi oleh banyaknya siswa SMA yang melakukan prokrastinasi akademik sehingga tugas belajar siswa tidak dapatdiselesaikan tepat waktu. Prokrastinasi akademik ini karena adakecenderungan siswa menyepelekan kegiatan akademik dan mengutamakankegiatan bersama teman sebaya. Penelitian ini bertujuan untukmendeskripsikan hubungan konformitas teman sebaya dengan prokrastinasiakademik. Penelitian ini merupakan penelitian kuantitatif dengan metodedeskriptif dan korelasional. Sampel penelitian berjumlah 210 orang. Instrumen yang digunakan adalah angket konformitas teman sebaya dan prokrastinasi akademik. Hasil penelitian menunjukkan tingkat konformitasteman sebaya siswa adalah tinggi dengan rata-rata skor capaian 148,5(72,4%) dan tingkat prokrastinasi akademik siswa juga tinggi dengan rata-rata skor capaian 123,5 (82,3%). Terdapat hubungan positif signifikan antarakonformitas teman sebaya dengan prokrastinasi akademik siswa di era new normal dengan besar korelasi 0,640 dan signifikansi 0,000. Artinya semakintinggi konformitas teman sebaya siswa maka akan semakin tinggi pula prokrastinasi akademik yang dilakukan oleh siswa
This study examined the effect of a psychoeducation program for coping with academic procrastination based on cognitive behavioral therapy on academic procrastination behaviors of university students. The "Academic Procrastination Scale" was used to determine students' academic procrastination behaviors. The research group consists of a total of 24 students. After identifying the participants, the researcher prepared an 8-session psychoeducation program with each session lasting 90 minutes on average. The non-parametric Mann Whitney-U test was used to determine whether there was a significant difference between the pre-test and post-test mean scores of the experimental and control groups. According to the results obtained from the study, it was seen that the psychoeducation program developed based on the cognitive behavioral approach was effective on the decrease in the academic procrastination behaviors of the university students in the experimental group.
The main aim of this research is to examine the role of smartphone addiction in the relationship between perceived parental and teacher academic involvement and academic procrastination behavior among middle school students. The data for the research were collected from 590 students who study in middle schools in Odunpazarı district of Eskişehir through personal information forms and scales. The scales used in the study consist of items that inquire about the levels of perceived parental and teacher academic involvement, academic procrastination behavior and smartphone addiction of the students. In line with the aims of the research, the data were analyzed using the SPSS 22.0 package program. Descriptive statistics, correlation analysis and regression analysis were used to answer the research questions. According to the results obtained from the study, it was determined that middle school students’ levels of perceived parental and teacher academic involvement were above average, their levels of smartphone addiction were below average and finally their frequency of academic procrastination behavior was below average. As a result of the study, it was determined that there were negative and statistically significant relationships between perceived parental and teacher academic involvement and the academic procrastination behavior of students. As a result of the regression analyses conducted for the main purpose of the research, it was revealed that smartphone addiction partially mediated both the effect of perceived parental academic involvement on academic procrastination behavior and the effect of perceived teacher academic involvement on academic procrastination behavior. Within the scope of the study, it was suggested to examine other possible variables that may cause academic procrastination behavior, which is one of the most important factors that negatively affect student success.
Procrastination has been associated with negative outcomes such as poor performance and well-being. The relevant theorists have suggested that those with an uncertain self-concept tend to procrastinate because they fear failing to meet the required standard. Therefore, this cross-sectional study was designed to test the relationship between self-doubt, fear of negative evaluation, procrastination, and rational/irrational beliefs from a cognitive perspective. A total of 344 highly educated adults (65.4% female, the mean of age was 37.51 years, SD = 8.53, and range 21-63) completed a questionnaire booklet that included the Self-doubt Scale, Procrastination Scale, Fear of Negative Evaluation Scale, and Irrational/rational Beliefs Scale. Current findings indicate that self-doubt predicts procrastination directly and indirectly through fear of negative evaluation. While this direct predictive effect of self-doubt on procrastination varies depending on the level of rational belief, its indirect predictive effect varies depending on the level of irrational beliefs. The present findings underline interventions to strengthen individuals' rational beliefs and modify their irrational beliefs, which can play a fundamental role in overcoming procrastination in the adult population.
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Resumen de la presentación Procrastinación académica y su relación con perfeccionismo.
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This study aims to investigate the structural relationships among adult Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms, Sluggish Cognitive Tempo (SCT), and driving behavior with the mediation of procrastination. This study employed a descriptive-correlational design and recruited a convenience sample of 250 licensed drivers in Tabriz, Iran. The data were collected using four instruments, namely, Adult ADHD Self-Report Scale (ASRS), Adult Concentration Inventory (ACI), Tuckman Procrastination Scale (TPS), and Manchester Driving Behavior Questionnaire (MBDQ). Correlation and structural equation modeling techniques which were performed by SPSS 20 and AMOS 24 software, were used to analyze the data. The study conducted a statistical analysis that revealed several significant relationships. Firstly, there was a significant association between ADHD symptoms (\(\beta =0.25, p<0.05\)) and SCT symptoms \((\beta =0.18, p<0.05)\) with driving behavior. Secondly, the study found a significant correlation between ADHD \((\beta = 0.52, p<0.05)\) and SCT symptoms \((\beta = 0.33, p<0.05)\) with procrastination. Procrastination was also significantly related to driving behavior \((\beta = 0.37, p<0.05)\). Moreover, the study identified that ADHD \((\beta = 0.19, p<0.05)\) and SCT symptoms \((\beta =0.12, p<0.05)\) had a significant effect on driving behavior, with procrastination serving as a mediator. Based on the results, this study has identified additional SCT dimensions associated with adult hyperactivity and procrastination, which contribute to the current understanding of the topic.
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Objectives Procrastination is a common behavior in our daily life that can lead to detrimental consequences, and previous studies have shown that female college students are more vulnerable to procrastination. Mindfulness-based interventions have been used to reduce procrastination; however, little is known about how mindfulness and procrastination interplay in everyday contexts. Therefore, the main purpose of this study was to explore the dynamic and bidirectional relation between mindfulness and procrastination from a multidimensional perspective. Methods A total of 252 female college students participated in a 34-day diary study, during which they completed daily measures of procrastination and three dimensions of state mindfulness (i.e., acting with awareness, nonjudgmental acceptance, and present-moment attention). Dynamic structural equation modeling was used to analyze the data. Results We found a bidirectional association of daily procrastination with one dimension of state mindfulness (i.e., acting with awareness), but not with the other two dimensions (i.e., nonjudgmental acceptance, and present-moment attention). Specifically, higher levels of acting with awareness predicted individuals’ lower levels of procrastination the next day (β = -0.042, 95% CI [-0.070, -0.019]), which enhanced their subsequent levels of acting with awareness (β = -0.087, 95% CI [-0.113, -0.058]). This indicated a self-perpetuating virtuous cycle between acting with awareness and daily procrastination. Conclusions Our findings provided valuable insights into mindfulness-based preventions and interventions. This study not only supported the role of mindfulness in reducing procrastination, but more importantly, highlighted the importance of targeting particular dimensions of mindfulness, rather than considering it as a whole, to enhance the effectiveness of mindfulness practices.
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