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The present study examined the relationship between two types of chronic procrastination and 12 varied life domains in which individuals report regret. Subjects were 2,887 adults (1,776 women and 1,111 men; M age = 38.63 years; SD = 14.35) from across the United States. Initially, pure arousal (n = 386), avoidant (n = 220), and nonprocrastinators (n = 215) were identified. Results found that nonprocrastinators reported significantly less regret than both avoidant and arousal procrastinators in domains of education pursuits, parenting, family and friend interactions, health and wellness, and financial planning. There were no significant differences in feelings of regret between chronic procrastinators and nonprocrastinators in romance, career planning, and spiritual and self-improvements. Further research should explore the specific causes and consequences of regret among chronic procrastinators.
J.R.Ferrariet al.: Procrastination and Life RegretsJournal of IndividualDifferences2009; Vol. 30(3):163–168© 2009Hogrefe& Huber Publishers
Life Regrets by Avoidant
and Arousal Procrastinators
Why Put Off Today What You Will Regret Tomorrow?
Joseph R. Ferrari1, Kelly L. Barnes2, and Piers Steel3
1DePaulUniversity,Chicago,IL,USA,2Ball State University, Muncie, IN, USA, 3University of Calgary, Canada
Abstract. The present study examined the relationship between two types of chronic procrastination and 12 varied life domains in
which individuals report regret. Subjects were 2,887 adults (1,776 women and 1,111 men; Mage = 38.63 years; SD = 14.35) from
across the United States. Initially, pure arousal (n= 386), avoidant (n= 220), and nonprocrastinators (n= 215) were identified. Results
found that nonprocrastinators reported significantly less regret than both avoidant and arousal procrastinators in domains of education
pursuits, parenting, family and friend interactions, health and wellness, and financial planning. There were no significant differences
in feelings of regret between chronic procrastinators and nonprocrastinators in romance, career planning, and spiritual and self-improve-
ments. Further research should explore the specific causes and consequences of regret among chronic procrastinators.
Keywords: procrastination, regret, arousal and avoidance, life satisfaction
Many people wait to pay the bills or put off work they need
to do, perhaps thinking: “It can wait until tomorrow” (Fer-
rari, Johnson, & McCown, 1995). Such behaviors may
seem commonplace, but research suggests that frequent,
habitual delays in actions and/or decisions may be mal-
adaptive. Procrastination has been defined as purposively
delaying an intended course of action (Ferrari et al., 1995;
Steel, 2007). As many as 20–25% of normal, healthy adult
men and women in the United States and other countries
were classified as chronic procrastinators, i.e., individuals
begin, 2004; Ferrari, Diaz-Morales, O’Callaghan, Diaz, &
Argumedo, 2007; Harriott & Ferrari, 1996). Nonprocrasti-
nators, in contrast, are individuals who perform most tasks
in a timely manner. Studies indicated that chronic procras-
tination is related to a variety of personality variables, in-
cluding low states of self-confidence and self-esteem and
high states of depression, neurosis, self-awareness, social
anxiety, forgetfulness, disorganization, noncompetitive-
ness, dysfunctional impulsivity, behavioral rigidity, and
lack of energy (Beswick, Rothblum, & Mann, 1988; Burka
& Yuen, 1983; Ferrari et al., 1995; Lay, 1986; Senecal,
Koestner, & Vallerand, 1995).
Recently, Ferrari and Díaz-Morales (2007) reported that
chronic procrastinators – but not nonprocrastinators –
claimed a self-concept focused on being unreliable as well
as self-presentation styles that reveal a person who self-
sabotages tasks but attempts to justify and excuse perfor-
mance failure. Previous research indicated that procrasti-
nators were very concerned over their social and public
al and want to be liked by others. It is possible, therefore,
that procrastinators have a poor self-image and present an
undesirable image to others (Ferrari, Driscoll, & Diaz-Mo-
rales, 2007). It also was found that procrastination may be
related to poor task performance, low self-confidence, in-
creased worrying, depression, stress, and even physical ill-
ness(Ferrari,2001;Stöber&Joormann, 2001; Tice &Bau-
meister, 1997).
At present, two reliable and valid forms of chronic be-
havioral procrastination have been identified for use with
adult men and women living in the United States (e.g., Fer-
rari, 1992, 1993; Ferrari et al., 1995). One type seems to be
related to a tendency to delay tasks as a thrill-seeking ex-
perience, as a way to ward off boredom, and as a belief that
one works best “under pressure.” This behavioral tendency
was assessed by Lay’s (1986) 20-item, unidimensional
scale identifying such delays as being motivated by a need
for arousal (Ferrari, 1992, 2000). Validity studies found
that scores on this scale were related to external attributes
or excuses for delays (Ferrari, 1993) and poor performance
when environmental stressors existed that heightened
arousal at task deadlines (Ferrari, 2001). This self-report
measure seems to be an appropriate measure to assess
forms of arousal procrastination.
The other type of frequent, chronic procrastination
among US adults seems to be a reflection of low self-es-
teem and self-confidence such that a person delays com-
pleting tasks that might reveal potential poor abilities. Mc-
DOI 10.1027/1614-0001.30.3.163
© 2009 Hogrefe & Huber Publishers Journal of Individual Differences 2009; Vol. 30(3):163–168
Cown and Johnson’s (1989) 15-item unidimensional scale
is a global measure of frequent procrastination (see Ferrari
et al., 1995). Validity studies using this scale found that
to deflecting potential disclosure of perceived inabilities
and incompetence (Ferrari, 1993) and avoiding self-rele-
vant information about one’s skills and competence (Fer-
rari, 1991b). This scale then may be considered a self-re-
port measure of avoidant procrastination.
We propose that habitual, frequent dilatory behavior
may bring a sense of regret over the life opportunities lost
or not completed. Regret is the negative feeling experi-
enced when reflecting back on decisions and actions real-
izing that, if they had been done differently, the outcome
would have been better (Zeelenberg, van den Bos, van
Dijk, & Pieters, 2002). Gilovich and Medvec (1994, 1995;
Gilovich, Medvec, & Kahneman, 1998) found that people
regret their inactions – or failures to act – more often than
they regret behaviors in which they did act upon. They
found that while people may initially regret actions taken
more than the actions forgone, over time regrets for action
fade while regrettable inactions intensify.
Chronic procrastination often results in people failing to
act either because they cannot make up their mind (indeci-
sion), or because they wait to take action until it is too late.
Missing an opportunity to decide or act as a result of en-
gaging in procrastination might result in feelings of regret.
We propose, therefore, that when a chronic procrastinator
compared to a nonprocrastinator reflects on past actions or
decisions that failed to be started or completed, in light of
the negative outcomes, a greater sense of regret about pro-
gress may result. For instance, avoidant procrastinators
may regret not having acted, which then resulted in success
or failure outcomes, while arousal procrastinators feel re-
gret because they missed a chance for a thrill experience.
Given that the present study is the first systematic as-
sessment of types of chronic procrastination and feelings
of regret, we decided to assess regret across a wide range
ofsettingsanddid nothypothesizewhichliferegret domain
may or may not be experienced by either or both chronic
procrastinator. Nevertheless, the present exploratory study
did expect chronic procrastinators (arousal and/or avoid-
ant)toreportmore life regret thannonprocrastinators,since
previous research clearly showed that frequent delay life-
styleshavemorenegativeaffectandengage in maladaptive
behaviors (Ferrari et al., 1995; Steel, 2007).
The present study included 2,887 adults (1,776 women and
1,111 men; Mage = 38.63 years; SD = 14.35; range = 25
to80years;mode = 48years)fromacross theUnitedStates.
Most participants claimed to be Caucasian (82.4%), edu-
cated with at least a undergraduate degree (79.5%), resid-
ing in suburban settings (64.4%), and employed full-time
(56.4%) with an average yearly income of $61,739.25 (SD
= $26,226.77). Most frequently participants indicated they
were single (46.7%).
Psychometric Measures
The Adult Inventory of Procrastination (AIP)
All participants completed the AIP, a 15-item, 5-point Lik-
ert scale (from 1 = strongly disagree to 5 = strongly agree)
self-report developed by McCown and Johnson (1989; see
Ferrari et al., 1995, for details). This scale measured avoid-
ant procrastination, delays motivated by fear of success or
failure, exposure of skill inabilities, and insecurities of per-
formance (Ferrari, 1991b, 1992, 1993). The AIP has good
temporal stability (1 month, retest r= .80) with acceptable
internal consistency (α ≥ .70; McCown & Johnson, 1989);
and with the present sample, Cronbach’s αwas 0.896 (M
sum score = 43.99; SD = 11.99).
General Procrastination Scale (GP)
Participantsalsocompletedthe GP scale,a20-item,5-point
Likert scale (from 1 = not true of me to 5 = very true of me)
created by Lay (1986), which examines behavioral tenden-
cies to delay the start or completion of everyday tasks for
thrill-seeking experiences and is associated with arousal
procrastination (Ferrari, 1991b, 1992, 1993). The measure
has a good construct and predictive validity, and is a reli-
able measure of procrastination. Various research settings
have shown an average Cronbach’s αof 0.82 (1 month,
retest r= 0.80; Ferrari, 1989). With the present sample,
Cronbach’s αwas 0.901 (Msum score = 64.32; SD =
Life Domain Regret (LDR) Inventory
In addition, all participants completed Roese and Summer-
ville’s (2005) LDR inventory, comprised of 12 life domain
areas which individuals report experiencing regret on sin-
gle items. Respondents indicated (from 1 = a little regret
to 5 = a lot of regret) how much regret they had in each
item reflecting areas of life, namely: family, friends, lei-
sure, health, finances, career, education, personal growth,
spirituality, volunteerism, parenting, and romance). Re-
spondents were provided with examples for each item. Ex-
amples included “not spending enough time with family”
villedidnotcollapse across these12domains;instead,each
item was used independently to reflect a life domain in
which a person may experience regret.
164 J.R. Ferrari et al.: Procrastination and Life Regrets
Journal of Individual Differences 2009; Vol. 30(3):163–168 © 2009 Hogrefe & Huber Publishers
Participants were solicited by an online website that had
the above-mentioned surveys attached. The website was
linked to the last author’s academic homepage and is one
of the most dominant sites on procrastination to emerge
during Google searches. The survey consisted of demo-
graphic items (e.g., age, gender, ethnic identity, education
level, marital status, employment status, and income), as
well as both procrastination measures and the regret scale
(all three questionnaires were listed in counterbalanced or-
der). All survey items were posted online for 8 weeks, and
pilot testing indicated it took individuals about 20 minutes
to complete all items.
The Relationship Between Procrastination
and Life Regret
We first assessed the relationship between arousal and
avoidant procrastination and each of the 12 life regret do-
mains. Zero-order correlations were performed with the
sum GP and AIP scores on each procrastination scale and
the 12 separate regret ratings (coefficients presented in Ta-
ble 1). As noted, arousal procrastination tendencies were
significantly positively related to feelings of regret for all
life domains except spirituality. Avoidant procrastination
tendencies, however, were significantly positively related
to experiencing regret in most life domains except commu-
nityservice,parentingand family interactions, andspiritual
However, closer examination of the coefficients indi-
cates that the magnitude of the relationship was extremely
small. For instance, for arousal correlation five significant
coefficients were less than 0.10. Moreover, only one rela-
tionship (between procrastination and regrets over finan-
cial planning) was greater than 0.20. In fact, it is possible
these coefficients were significantly related because of the
large sample size. Taken together, these results suggest that
varied forms of procrastination may be significantly (albeit
small in size) related to a number of life domain regrets.
Identifying Arousal and Avoidant
Procrastinations and Nonprocrastinators:
Pure Types
Zero-order correlations also indicated that GP (arousal)
scores and AIP (avoidant) scores were significantly inter-
correlated with each other in the entire sample, r= 0.71, p
<.001.This fact indicatedthat,forthe present adultsample,
chronic procrastination behavior patterns were not mutual-
ly exclusive. However, our goal was to assess arousal and
avoidant procrastination tendencies separately. We wanted
to examine how individuals who demonstrate either of
these delay techniques may experience life regrets.
Consequently, to assess “pure procrastination” types
among adults (in order to compare independently arousal
and avoidant procrastination with feelings of regret across
a variety of life domains), we regressed GP scores on AIP
scores and then, vice versa, obtained standardized Zresid-
ual scores for the sole variance of the specific procrastina-
tion types. We then identified people who obtained a Zre-
sidual score of 1.00 on one variable and 1.00 on the
other variable to categorize as a pure procrastination type.
Also, we identified persons whose Zresidual scores were
1.00 on both GP and AIP scales, in order to categorize
nonprocrastinators. Setting our criteria to scores to 1.00
permitted us to select what we labeled as “pure” arousal
and “pure” avoidant procrastinators independent of cross-
over effects between typologies. This procedure to identify
pure chronic procrastination types has been used success-
fully in previous research when arousal and avoidant pro-
crastination styles were significantly related (see Ferrari et
al., 2004; Ferrari, Diaz-Morales et al., 2007; Ferrari, Dris-
coll et al., 2007).
We obtained 386 chronic arousal procrastinators (245
women, 141 men), 220 chronic avoidant procrastinations
(133 women, 87 men), and 215 nonprocrastinators (134
women, 81 men). Chi-square analysis indicated no signif-
icant difference in the ratio of women to men within each
category, with the proportion of women to men similar to
the original total sample size. Furthermore, selecting only
pure arousals or pure avoidants and then conducting inde-
pendentt-testsbetweenmenandwomenontheGP and AIP
sum scores, respectively, as well as age yield no significant
gender or age differences on scores (p<.07).Therefore,all
Table 1. Zero-order correlates between sum scores on
arousal and avoidant procrastination with life re-
gret domains
Procrastinator category
Regret life domains Arousal Avoidant
Career opportunities and choices .145* .146*
Community service and volunteering .078* .021
Education degree and studying .106* .120*
Parenting interactions with offspring .052* .014
Family interactions with parents/siblings .098* .077
Financial decisions/investments .215* .233*
Friend interactions .159* .155*
Health, exercise, diet, illness .194* .173*
Leisure, sports, recreation, travel .111* .105*
Romance, love, dating, marriage .055* .074*
Spiritual growth, exploring life purpose .034 –.015
Self-improvement, personal growth .124* .077*
n= 2,893, *p< .001.
J.R. Ferrari et al.: Procrastination and Life Regrets 165
© 2009 Hogrefe & Huber Publishers Journal of Individual Differences 2009; Vol. 30(3):163–168
further analyses were based on these 821 participants, col-
lapsing across gender and age groups.
Comparing Procrastinators and
Nonprocrastinators on Regret Across Life
Table 2 presents the mean score on each of the 12 life do-
main regret areas for chronic arousal and avoidant procras-
tinatorsandnonprocrastinators.AMANOVAtest, compar-
ing the three procrastination categories with all 12 regret
domains as dependent variables, yielded a significant dif-
ference, Wilks’ Lambda = .857, F(24, 1614) = 5.38, p<
.0001. Follow-up ANOVA comparing procrastination cat-
egories found significant differences in eight regret do-
mains, namely, community service, F(2, 818) = 3.412, p<
.03, education, F(2, 818) = 3.291, p< .04, parenting,
F(2, 818) = 13.214, p< .0001, family, F(2, 818) = 4.470,
p< .01, finance, F(2, 818) = 25.001, p< .0001, friends,
F(2, 818) = 6.231, p< .002, health, F(2, 818) = 28.153, p
<.001,and leisure,F(2, 818) = 5.715, p< .003. There were
no significant differences across procrastination types on
career, romance, spirituality, and self-improvement life do-
Posthoc comparisons (Newman-Keuls, p< .05) indicat-
ed that nonprocrastinators claimed significantly less regret
than both arousal and avoidant procrastinators in the area
of education, family, finances, friends, and health (see Ta-
ble 2). Furthermore, both arousal and avoidant procrastina-
of these five domains. However, chronic arousal procrasti-
nators reported significantly more regret in their life than
nonprocrastinators on community service and leisure time
activities (Table 2). As noted in Table 2, in terms of parent-
ing interactions, nonprocrastinators reported significantly
less regret than chronic avoidant procrastinators, while
chronic avoidant procrastinators reported significantly less
regret than arousal procrastinators.
their feelings of regret across a variety of life domains.
There were significant relationships, albeit small effects,
between arousal and avoidant procrastination with a sense
of regret in a number of life domains. We then selected for
individuals who express either arousal or avoidant procras-
tination, similar to other studies in this field (Ferrari &
Diaz-Morales, 2007; Ferrari et al., 2004; Ferrari, Diaz-Mo-
rales et al., 2007). Compared to nonprocrastinators, then, it
seemed that both men and women who were identified as
chronic, habitual, frequent arousal, and avoidant procrasti-
nators reported greater feelings of regret across a variety of
For instance, both arousal and avoidant procrastinators
claimed more regret than nonprocrastinators in their edu-
cational and academic pursuits. Closer examinations for
confound effects indicated that having earned a Bachelor’s
and/or Master’s degree was common for half the nonpro-
crastinators (50%) and just more than half of both procras-
tinator types (56.6%). However, 42% of procrastinators re-
portedtheywerestudents, while only16.7%ofnonprocras-
tinators were identified as students. Also, 9.9% of the
procrastinators reported having a high school or less de-
gree, compared to only 6.4% of nonprocrastinators. Thus,
it seems possible that procrastinators may regret not trying
to gain a higher education degree and are still enrolled as
In addition, both chronic procrastinator types reported
more regret than nonprocrastinators in family interactions
with parents and siblings, friend interactions, and parental
Table 2. Mean score on life regret domains for arousal,
avoidant, and nonprocrastinators, reflecting
ANOVA and posthoc Neuman-Keul tests
Procrastinator category
Arousal Avoidant None
Regret life domains (n=
386) (n=
220) (n=
Career opportunities and choices 3.57 3.93 3.40
(1.83) (1.97) (2.76)
Community service and volunteering 4.41b4.11a,b 3.73a
(2.43) (2.63) (2.94)
Education degree and studying 4.27b4.35b3.74a
(2.64) (2.49) (3.21)
Parenting interactions with offspring 4.81c3.19b2.25a
(3.11) (3.46) (3.73)
Family interactions with parents/siblings 3.40b3.29b2.84a
(2.19) (2.19) (2.36)
Financial decisions/investments 3.11b3.41b2.23a
(1.62) (2.00) (1.99)
Friend interactions 3.18b3.17b2.68a
(1.73) (1.68) (1.93)
Health, exercise, diet, illness 3.74b3.58b2.78a
(1.46) (1.46) (1.72)
Leisure, sports, recreation, travel 4.29b3.87a,b 3.45a
(3.04) (2.86) (2.93)
Romance, love, dating, marriage 3.79 4.00 3.66
(2.28) (2.65) (2.91)
Spiritual growth, exploring life purpose 4.24 3.85 3.68
(3.06) (3.06) (3.89)
Self-improvement, personal growth 3.28 3.09 2.89
(1.96) (1.76) (2.50)
Note. Values in parentheses are standard deviations. Subscripts with
different letters are significantly different (Newman-Keuls, p< .05).
166 J.R. Ferrari et al.: Procrastination and Life Regrets
Journal of Individual Differences 2009; Vol. 30(3):163–168 © 2009 Hogrefe & Huber Publishers
interactions with their children. When we examined the
variables related to family and friends that were collected
for confound effects, we noted that most of both procrasti-
nators and nonprocrastinators in our sample reported hav-
ing no children (71.6% and 61.5%, respectively). Also, the
number of children was not significantly different for par-
ents in our sample (overall, most parents had 2 children or
less). These results are consistent with other research on
the marital status and family size of procrastinators and
nonprocrastinators, suggesting no significant differences
(see Ferrari, 1991a; Harriott & Ferrari, 1996). Related pre-
vious research found that procrastinators and nonprocras-
tinators have similar social support size networks among
their friends (Ferrari, Harriott, & Zimmerman, 1999). Tak-
en together, it seems the familyand friend issues of chronic
procrastinators may not be related to the size of their fam-
ily, social network, or even their marital status. Instead,
there are some interpersonal dynamic issues arising which
need attention. Future research may want to examine these
networks to see if regret with family and friends is focused
on the quality of these relationships.
It also is important to note that in our sample compared
to nonprocrastinators chronic procrastinators reported
more regret over financial decisions. We found on closer
examination for confound effects that on average nonpro-
crastinators reported they earned $69,648, while procrasti-
nators earned less at $57,959. Most participants, regardless
of their income, worked full-time (57.5%) or at least part-
time (10.9%); therefore, employment status might not a
factor for the difference in income amounts. Procrastina-
tors, at least in the United States, seem to be failing in fi-
nancial planning with their current savings and for future
Both chronic procrastinator types reported more regret
than nonprocrastinators over staying healthy and avoiding
illness. Related, chronic arousal procrastinators reported
greatest regret over not taking enough time for community
service/volunteering and leisure activities, compared to
chronic avoidant procrastinators and nonprocrastinators. It
seems that procrastinators who report more illness may not
know effective and efficient ways to serve their local com-
munity or even to enjoy their personal life (Ferrari et al.,
1995).Futureresearchintothese domains might be fruitful.
Finally, it is interesting that procrastinators and nonpro-
crastinatorswerenotsignificantlydifferentin their feelings
of regret reported on areas related to career, romance, spir-
ituality, and personal self-improvement. Current research
suggests that chronic procrastinators are more common
among some corporate, white-collar employees than man-
ual, self-employed workers (Ferrari, Dovosko, & Joseph,
2005; Hammer & Ferrari, 2002). Perhaps while the preva-
lence of procrastinators is more common in some occupa-
tions, there is little regret over having chosen such occupa-
tions. It is unclear why procrastinators and nonprocrastina-
tors were not significantly different in their reported
feelings of regret over romantic situations or spiritual or
self-improvement domains. Future research into these ar-
easmightshedsomelight on understanding procrastination
Of course, the present simple study has limitations. All
data were collected from online surveys, limiting respon-
dentstoonlythosewithaccesstotheinternet.Also, all data
of the regret domains or even tendencies to delay tasks.
While the sample size was rather large, and we did attempt
to differentiate statistically among procrastinator types, the
present sample was not random but rather convenient, and
our analyses may not generalize to men and women from
other settings or contexts. For instance, it is possible that
veryfewtruenonprocrastinators visited thewebsite.There-
fore, membership into that category in the present study
relied only upon ones score relative to other study respon-
Nevertheless, based on respondents in the present study,
itseemschronicarousal and avoidant procrastinatorsreport
experiencing more regrets in life, in a number of settings
sociate procrastinators to high rates of neuroticism, worry-
ing over poor performances and public perceptions of their
abilities and in turn experiencing regret over inaction.
However, previous research found types of procrastination
related to low conscientiousness instead of neuroticism
(e.g., Schouwenburg, 1995; cf. Steel, 2007). The present
study suggests that lack of conscientiousness, in the form
of types of procrastination, may promote a person to expe-
riencefeelings of regret inlife.Webelievethatunderstand-
ing the process of procrastination may be fruitful in creat-
ing ways to enhance life satisfaction and create better har-
mony among men and women.
The authors express gratitude to Joseph Cohen for his di-
rection and guidance on early versions of the present paper.
Portions of this paper were presented at the 2008 annual
meetings of the Eastern Psychological Association (Bos-
ton, MA) and the Midwestern Psychological Association
(Chicago, IL).
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Joseph R. Ferrari
Department of Psychology
DePaul University
2219 N. Kenmore Ave.
Chicago, IL 60614
168 J.R. Ferrari et al.: Procrastination and Life Regrets
Journal of Individual Differences 2009; Vol. 30(3):163–168 © 2009 Hogrefe & Huber Publishers
... A lot of studies have shown that some people achieve the best performance under pressure. These people see a stressful situation as an exciting experience (see Ferrari et al., 2009;Grunschel et al., 2013). However, an overwhelming amount of research provides evidence for a negative relationship between stress and wellbeing and for a positive relationship between wellbeing and resilience (Durand-Bush et al., 2015;Li and Hasson, 2020). ...
... People in MSG may find the situations in which they are under pressure unpleasant and threatening compared to those in HSG. However, pressures such as "competition, meeting deadlines, trying to do too many things at once" may be acting to improve performance for HSG (see Ferrari et al., 2009;Bell et al., 2012;Grunschel et al., 2013). ...
... As procrastination-related negative consequences may occur in different domains and situations, the first step in developing such a scale is determining relevant domains/situations. Prior research (e.g., Gröpel and Kuhl, 2006;Ferrari et al., 2009;Klingsieck, 2013;Goroshit et al., 2020) has identified procrastination in several life domains, such as work (including academic work), everyday routines and obligations, health, leisure, family, and partnership, social and financial. Reviews and meta-analyses (e.g., van Eerde, 2003;Steel, 2007) have demonstrated procrastination tendencies ("trait procrastination") to be relatively stable across domains and situations, but it is important to recognize that situational and personality variables may be important in facilitating or hindering actual instances of procrastinatory behavior from occurring (e.g., Wäschle et al., 2014;Steel and Klingsieck, 2016;Svartdal et al., 2020). ...
... Procrastinators are impulsive, and impulsive decisions and behaviors are associated with problems with personal finances (for an overview, see Gamst-Klaussen et al., 2019). Ferrari et al. (2009) demonstrated that life regret within the financial domain correlated moderately (r = 0.21-0.23) with procrastination score, higher compared to all other domains examined. ...
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Standard definitions of procrastination underscore the irrational nature of this habit, a critical criterion being that the procrastinating individual delays despite expecting to be worse off for the delay. However, an examination of more than 175 items in 18 procrastination scales reveals that they do not address such a forward-looking criterion. Consequently, scales run the risk of not separating maladaptive and irrational delays from other forms of delay. We propose that forward-looking considerations may not be the best way of operationalizing the irrationality involved in procrastination and argue that scales should instead focus on past negative consequences of unnecessary delay. We suggest a new scale to measure such procrastination-related negative consequences and demonstrate that this scale, used separately or combined with established procrastination scales, performs better in predicting negative states and correlates to procrastination than established scales. The new scale seems to be helpful in separating trivial forms of unnecessary delay from maladaptive forms and hence represents a potentially valuable tool in research and clinical/applied efforts.
... A lot of studies have shown that some people achieve the best performance under pressure. These people see a stressful situation as an exciting experience (see Ferrari et al., 2009;Grunschel et al., 2013). However, an overwhelming amount of research provides evidence for a negative relationship between stress and wellbeing and for a positive relationship between wellbeing and resilience (Durand-Bush et al., 2015;Li and Hasson, 2020). ...
... People in MSG may find the situations in which they are under pressure unpleasant and threatening compared to those in HSG. However, pressures such as "competition, meeting deadlines, trying to do too many things at once" may be acting to improve performance for HSG (see Ferrari et al., 2009;Bell et al., 2012;Grunschel et al., 2013). ...
Full-text available
The coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic has brought about significant changes in the lifestyle of students. However, despite an extensive study of students’ life stress using a non-comprehensive scale and variable-centered approach, it has been little studied with a comprehensive scale and person-centered approach. Using the Student-Life Stress Inventory-revised (SSI-R), we analyzed students’ latent stress profiles and examined differences in psychological resilience and emotional intelligence by comparing stress profiles from a sample of 418 undergraduate and graduate students (aged 18–36) in various departments of eight universities in Turkey. We identified five distinct stress profiles, defined as an extremely low stress group (ELSG), a low stress group (LSG), a medium stress group (MSG), a high stress group (HSG), and an extremely high stress group (EHSG). We found that (1) MSG and HSG were similar in terms of emotional intelligence, resilience, and possession of high standards, and they reported higher levels of physiological, emotional, and behavioral reactions than ELSG and LSG; (2) MSG felt more pressure than HSG; (3) ELSG reported higher levels of emotional intelligence (wellbeing, self-control, and emotionality) than others. Also, EHSG reported lower levels of emotional intelligence (specifically self-control) than others; (4) whereas resilience was highly positively correlated to wellbeing, resilience and wellbeing were moderately negatively correlated to stress. Extremely low stress group and LSG reported higher levels of resilience than others. Medium stress group, HSG, and EHSG did not differ with regard to resilience and wellbeing. Our results suggest that, university students are able to maintain their functionality by coping up with stress in some ways, no matter how stressful they are. These findings are discussed in relation to the relevant literature.
... La procrastinación como rasgo, puede ser definida entonces como una tendencia regular e innecesaria a postergar tareas que deben ser hechas. Por lo general, en ella confluyen una postergación intencional y la conciencia de posibles perjuicios (Ferrari et al., 2009;Klingsieck, 2013). Además, se la relaciona con una disminución de productividad y aumento de ansiedad (Steel, 2007). ...
... La procrastinación puede ser considerada como un fallo de autorregulación porque implica un déficit en las conductas orientadas a metas y planificación de actividades (Balkis & Duru, 2016;Ferrari et al., 2009;Palo et al., 2019;Steel & Ferrari, 2013;Sirois & Pychyl, 2013;Tuckman, 2005;van Eerde & Klingsieck, 2018). La autorregulación engloba un conjunto de procesos que habilitan un control sobre los pensamientos, sentimientos, acciones y motivación, mediante estrategias personales de control y adaptación permanentes para el logro de las metas que se han definido (Panadero & Alonso Tapia, 2014;Zimmerman & Schunk, 2011). ...
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Las dinámicas adolescentes y las exigencias de la educación secundaria vuelven pertinente la investigación sobre procrastinación, tan extendida y estudiada en universitarios. El objetivo del presente estudio es adaptar y validar la Tuckman Procrastination Scale (TPS) en una muestra constituida por 211 estudiantes de educación media superior, integrada por 125 mujeres (59%) y 86 hombres (41%) y sus edades fueron de 15 (45%) y 16 (54%) años. La escala presenta adecuada consistencia interna. Se obtuvo evidencia sobre la validez de constructo a partir del análisis factorial confirmatorio. Su validez predictiva se apoya en las correlaciones significativas y negativas con rendimiento académico, autoeficacia, valor intrínseco, y la positiva con ansiedad ante las pruebas. Estos resultados avalan la validez de la interpretación de las puntuaciones obtenidas con la escala TPS para esta muestra de adolescentes, lo que permitirá avanzar en la descripción y explicación del fenómeno de procrastinación académica en esta población.
... Gandrīz visiem ir bijusi kāda situācija, kad sanācis kavēties, kaut ko novilcināt vai atlikt, 90-95% populācijas kaut reizi ir bijusi prokrastinācijas pieredze (Ellis & Knaus, 1977). Tomēr pētījumu rezultāti apstiprina, ka 20-25% pieaugušo -gan sievietes, gan vīriešus -var saukt par hroniskiem prokrastinētājiem (piemēram, Ferrari, Barnes, & Steel, 2009;Ferrari, Diaz-Morales, O'Callaghan, Diaz, & Argumedo, 2007), jo viņi svarīgus un savlaicīgi veicamus uzdevumus nevajadzīgi novilcina visdažādākajās situācijās un dzīves jomās. Prokrastinācijas biežums vedina domāt, ka hroniskiem prokrastinētājiem, visticamāk, tā ir personības iezīme, savukārt pārējos gadījumos lielāka loma ir situatīviem aspektiemcik lielu piepūli prasa veicamais darbs, cik patīkams vai nepatīkams ir uzdevums, cik nozīmīgi tas ir indivīdam. ...
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Based on the Conservation of Resources (Hobfoll, 1989) and Effort-Recovery (Meijman & Mulder, 1998) theories the aim of this study is to examine how psychological detachment from work and off-job activities are related to daily (state) work engagement. Two hundred eighty seven Latvian workers filled out Utrecht Work Engagement Scale (Schaufeli & Bakker, 2003), State Work Engagement Questionnaire (Breevaart, Bakker, Demerouti, & Hetland, 2012), Psychological detachment from work scale (Sonnentag & Fritz, 2007), and reported time spent on various off-job activities. Psychological detachment and off-job activities were not associated with following day state work engagement. However, engaging in physical activities for more than one hour, and engaging in smaller number of various off-job activities was associated with higher psychological detachment from work in the evening.
... A review of empirical studies examining the relationship between procrastination and feelings of regret indicated that chronic procrastinators report greater feelings of regret regarding never completing or accomplishing life events in different settings compared to non-procrastinators (Ferrari, 2011;Ferrari et al., 2009Ferrari et al., , 2019Goroshit et al., 2020). In total, 5 studies (5.6% of the all reviewed studies) were found examining the relationship between regret and either type of procrastination (2 (25%) situational and 3 (75%) dispositional procrastination). ...
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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.
... From a learning theoretic perspective, however, one might expect that the many experiences of building anxiety that one undergoes, over many instances of task postponement, would result in reduced procrastination. In fact, people who procrastinate often do have regrets (Ferrari et al., 2009), and they often assert that in the future they will start working on the required task earlier-a resolution that often goes unfulfilled. A possible explanation for the maintenance of procrastination, even with continued feelings of frustration at the build-up of anxiety each time, is that the procrastination behavior itself may be reinforced. ...
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Procrastination involves an irrational putting off of engaging in a course of action, in spite of expecting to be worse off for the delay. I suggest that to understand the processes underlying procrastination one should examine its relation to several behavioral procedures that have been studied in humans and other animals. For example, in delay discounting, smaller rewards that come sooner are often preferred over larger rewards that come later. In the context of delay discounting, procrastination can be viewed as the preference for an immediate competing activity over the delay to work on a required task. Another process similar to procrastination can be seen in free operant, temporal avoidance (or Sidman avoidance) in which an animal will receive a shock (a deadline not met) if an interval passes without a specified response (task completion). Once animals learn about the interval, they often procrastinate by waiting until the interval has almost passed before responding. Finally, research with animals suggests that the persistence of procrastination may involve a form of negative reinforcement associated with the sudden decline in anxiety or fear (relief) when the task is completed prior to the deadline. Research with animals suggests that the mechanisms responsible for human procrastination may involve systems that derive from several procedures known to produce similar behavior animals.
... The second type is avoidance procrastination which is characterized by risk averse attitude which is highly related to the feelings of anxiety, low self-esteem and worry towards the outcome of the task. Arousal and avoidance procrastinations are known as chronic procrastinations (Ferrari & Díaz-Morales, 2007) where individuals experience regret in life because they are unable to act in ways that will bring them better outcomes (Ferrari, Barnes & Steel, 2009). The third type of procrastination under the task avoidance category is academic procrastination which is the focus of this research. ...
... James' sentence expressed very well the sense and the psychological cost of putting something off until a later time, i.e., of procrastinating, an issue of focus of many researchers, particularly since the second half of the nineties of the twentieth century, although the term 'procrastination' has a longer history [2,3]. Variously described as the irrational delay of behavior [4][5][6], the delay in beginning or completing an intended course of action [7][8][9], or the voluntary delay of an intended course of action despite expecting negative consequences [3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10], according to Milgram and Tenne [11], the construct refers to a trait or a behavioral disposition of postponing or delaying performing a task or activity with no apparent reason. ...
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Generally considered as a prevalent occurrence in academic settings, procrastination was analyzed in association with constructs such as self-efficacy, self-esteem, anxiety, stress, and fear of failure. This study investigated the role played by self-regulated learning strategies in predicting procrastination among university students. To this purpose, the relationships of procrastination with cognitive and metacognitive learning strategies and time management were explored in the entire sample, as well as in male and female groups. Gender differences were taken into account due to the mixed results that emerged in previous studies. This cross-sectional study involved 450 university students (M = 230; F = 220; Mage = 21.08, DS = 3.25) who completed a self-reported questionnaire including a sociodemographic section, the Tuckman Procrastination Scale, the Time Management Scale, and the Metacognitive Self-Regulation and Critical Thinking Scales. Descriptive and inferential analyses were applied to the data. The main findings indicated that temporal and metacognitive components play an important role in students’ academic achievement and that, compared to females, males procrastinate more due to poor time management skills and metacognitive strategies. Practical implications were suggested to help students to overcome their dilatory behavior.
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Despite findings showing first-year undergraduates persistently engage in academic procrastination, research exploring students’ perceived reasons for their procrastination and procrastination-related emotions is lacking. The present exploratory study utilized Weiner’s (2010) attribution theory to examine the relationships between procrastination as well as students’ causal explanations and emotions specific to procrastination. Findings of 429 first-year Canadian undergraduates showed students to attribute procrastination mainly to internal and stable factors, and less so to personally controllable factors. Students who attributed procrastination to reasons within themselves reported higher levels of negative emotions, with strong direct effects of procrastination on negative emotions also observed. These findings demonstrate the importance of considering students’ causal attributions as potential contributors to their emotional experiences surrounding procrastination and encourage future longitudinal research on relations between academic procrastination, attributions, and emotional outcomes.
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Studied the relationship and possible effect of optimal level of stimulation (sensation seeking) on the delay in the decision making process (procrastination) in 138 university students. Ss completed a decision making questionnaire, a sensation seeking scale, a need-for-cognition scale, and a procrastination scale. The results show that high procrastination correlated positively with sensation seeking (except socially accepted thrill and adventure seeking). Procrastination correlated with low need for cognition, low self-esteem as a decision maker, high score for hypervigilance, and high buck-passing. The results are discussed in terms of the needed and preferred negative stimulation in Ss marked as high seekers.
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It is possible that procrastination may be related to an inability to stay focused on a task and a need for frequent sensory stimulation. In the present correlational study, 142 young adults (80 women, 62 men: M age = 21.1, SD = 4.7) self-reported procrastination tendencies (avoidance, arousal, and decisional), attention deficits, boredom proneness, intelligence and self-esteem. Partial correlates (controlling for intelligence) indicated that all three forms of procrastination were related to boredom proneness, attention deficits, and low self-esteem. Factor analysis, however, indicated that no procrastination type loaded with attention deficits or intelligence, and only decisional procrastination loaded with self-esteem and boredom proneness. These results suggest that only cognitive forms of procrastination (indecision) may be related to a need for sensory stimulation, and that among normal adults procrastination is not associated with attention deficits.
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In Sample 1, 46 procrastinators compared with 52 nonprocrastinators claimed lower self-esteem, greater public self-consciousness and social anxiety, and a stronger tendency toward self-handicapping. In Sample 2, 48 procrastinators compared with 54 nonprocrastinators reported a weaker tendency toward seeking self-identity information but a stronger tendency toward a diffuse-identity style, yet there were no significant differences in verbal and abstract thinking abilities. Further research must provide evidence for persistent procrastination as a personality disorder that includes anxiety, avoidance, and a fear of evaluation of ability.
Academic procrastination was examined within a nontraditional population of commuting students (N = 386, M age = 25.64), who were ethnically, economically, and culturally diverse. Students completed a self-report measure, the PASS (Procrastination Assessment Scale-Students; Solomon & Rothblum, 1984). In comparison to previous results with traditional students, academic procrastination among nontraditional students was higher in reading weekly assignments and school activities in general, but lower in writing a term paper and attendance tasks. In comparison to previous results with African-American students, the present study found lower academic procrastination on attendance tasks and administrative tasks. Older students, women, and students born outside of the United States reported lower academic procrastination tendencies. No differences in reported academic procrastination were observed based on: ethnicity, whether students were the first members of their families to attend college, or whether students possessed a high school diploma. Finally, academic procrastination scores were negatively correlated with cumulative grade point average (GPA).
Research has documented that most college students delay on academic tasks. Surprisingly, graduate students may procrastinate on academic tasks even more than do undergraduate students. Perfectionism also has been found to be high among graduate students. It is likely that for graduate students, delaying academic tasks such as writing a term paper is indicative of perfectionism. Thus, this study investigated the relationship between academic procrastination and perfectionism among 135 graduate students, who were administered the Procrastination Assessment Scale-Students and the Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale. A canonical correlation analysis revealed that fear of failure, a component of academic procrastination was related to self-oriented perfectionism and socially prescribed perfectionism. Other-oriented perfectionism, the third dimension of perfectionism, acted as a suppressor variable. Implications are discussed.
Participants (N = 418) from an inner suburban Catholic junior high school and suburban Catholic high school in Melbourne, Australia, were surveyed to determine if a relationship exists between procrastination, academic esteem, anxiety, and academic achievement. Academic achievement related positively with academic esteem and negatively with procrastination. A model to explain the interaction between procrastination, English and mathematics grades, esteem, and anxiety was proposed using regression analysis and structural causal modeling.
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).
Objective: To introduce the concept and the measurement of procrastination, and review the related study of procrastination, including its antecedent, influencing factors and the consequence, so as to point out the existing problems in previous studies and put forward the perspectives for further study on procrastination. Data sources: An online search for the related articles of procrastination was conducted in ProQuest Database (Psychology Journals) from January 1995 to August 2005 and EBSCOhost Database from January 1994 and February 2006 by imputing the term "procrastination" into computer in English. Study selection: The literatures closely related with procrastination were selected. The inclusive criteria: 1 including reviews and experimental studies; 2 the correlative studies of procrastination. Exclusive criteria: 1 the repeated papers from two database; 2 The papers of repeated studies. Data extraction: A total of 185 English papers about procrastination were gathered, and the papers of repeated studies, the repeated papers and the papers of low correlation were excluded. Among the 128 papers meeting the inclusive criteria, there were 10 ones about the concept and type of procrastination, 13 ones were about the measurement of procrastination, 87 ones were referred to the influencing factors of procrastination, and 18 ones were referred to the resulting consequence of procrastination. Then 28 articles were collected for reviews. Data synthesis: Procrastination is a kind of matter behavior of delaying or continuous deferment on carrying out the tasks and making the decision by individuals. There are three types of procrastination: awaken procrastination, avoided procrastination and procrastination in decision-making. And the common measurements are questionnaire, diary and observation. The internal influencing factors of procrastination are age, sex and personality characteristics; The internal motivations are self-hinder, in avoidance of failure and perfection tendency; While the external influencing factors include the breeding manner of parents: the characters of task and exterior environment variables; The resulting consequence of procrastination consists of two aspects: Negative sequence: self-consciousness, emotion and performance result; Whereas procrastination is positively correlated with creativity. Conclusion: There are various factors affecting procrastination, such as individual personality, family background, task characters and exterior environment. And procrastination can lead to the decreasing of performance result and the unfavorable impacts on the physical and mental health of individuals. Future researches calls on emergency domestically in order to fill up the blank in this domain and provide better theoretical evidences for correcting procrastination.
This study investigated the relationships between job characteristics and procrastination in the workplace. Locus of control was proposed to moderate this relationship. Participants were 147 employees of a health care maintenance organization. Results showed that job enrichment is associated with lower procrastination. A significant interaction was found between work locus of control and autonomy in predicting procrastination. Internals and externals with low autonomy reported the most procrastination, followed by externals with high autonomy. Internals with high autonomy reported the least procrastination. Greater autonomy for employees, particularly for internals, may be associated with less procrastination in the workplace.
A self-discrepancy is a gap between the perceived real self and other standards like the ideal self. One hundred and eighty-one college students completed a self-report measure of self-discrepancies and decisional and behavioral procrastination. Regression analysis showed that overall dysfunctional procrastination (the composite measure of both kinds of procrastination) significantly varied as a function of self-discrepancies. The amount of variance explained was small. Those scoring high in self-discrepancies were more likely to be dysfunctional procrastinators than those scoring low. The discrepancy between the actual-self and the ought-to self was the strongest predictor of dysfunctional procrastination. When decisional and behavioral procrastination were analyzed separately, only decisional procrastination significantly varied as a function of self-discrepancies.