Group Ik11

Laylanie, Heejeong, Jacob, Mi

Procrastination is the behaviour of unnecessarily postponing or avoiding tasks that requires to be completed, and is often seen in students. The definite construct of procrastination may vary from people to people. The term procrastination can be applied to both academic and non-academic tasks, but nowadays it is mostly used on academic tasks.

Solomon and Rothblum (1984) did a research on the frequency of college students‘ procrastination on academic tasks, and found that 46% of students nearly always or always delayed writing a term paper, 28% procrastinated studying for the exams, 30% pon reading weekly assignments, 23% in attendance tasks, and etcs.

According to motivation researchers (e.g., Steel et al., 2001), the reason why people procrastinate is not always because they lack intentions to work, but mostly because they fail to put thoughts into actions, reflecting a huge gap between intentions and actions in procrastinators. Also it can be due to lack of motivation.

Also, the research had shown that procrastination is also related to self-esteem. People with low self-esteem tend to procrastinate more, because low self-esteem keeps people away from their tasks, or makes it harder for people to get on tasks (Burger, 2004). Some people with vulnerable self-esteem procrastinate to keep their self-esteem fro being damaged from being judged, so their true ability can be never seen (Ferrari, 1991). This creates a bidirectional relationship, that is, people with low self-esteem delay completion of tasks, and delay of tasks lower their self-esteem.

Just like how low self-esteem affects work performance, anxiety also plays a rule in procrastination. People who are anxious about failing will avoid or delay performing the task to reduce their anxiety. Individuals with a high level of procrastination tend to experience more test anxiety than those with a low level of procrastination.

Procrastination and Neuropsychology
This study (Rabin, 2011) provides evidence that procrastination is a form a bad self-regulation. Major traits that are correlated with procrastination are, Reduced agency, disorganization, poor impulse and emotional control, poor planning and goal setting, reduced use of meta cognitive kills, distractibility, poor task persistence and time and task management deficiencies. All these behaviours fall under the umbrella of executive functioning. The majority of these traits are processed with the pre-frontal cortex. In their study, they examined the nine clinical sub-scales of Behaviour Rating Inventory of Executive Functioning Adult Version (BRIEF-A). I will provide a brief summery of the sub-scales.

  • The self-monitor scale: Which evaluates one’s self-awareness and how one’s behaviours affect others.
  • The Plan/Organize scale: It evaluates one’s ability to manage current and future task according to their situational context.
  • The Shift Scale: Evaluates one’s capability of changing behaviourally or cognitively from one situation to another according to the circumstances.
  • The Initiate scale: The ability to individually start tasks.
  • The task monitor scale: The capacity to which an individual keeps track of one’ s problem solving behaviour.
  • The Emotional Control scale: Evaluates one’s ability to regulate emotions.
  • The Working Memory Scale: The capacity to gather information in order to complete a task.
  • The Organization Of Materials Scale: Evaluates one’s everyday environment and the ability to keep track of their objects and tasks.

They evaluated these parameters on 212 undergraduate students. The result was that all of the nine sub-scales of (BRIEF-A) were strongly correlated with higher levels of procrastination. People who strongly express these traits did have procrastination. Although there are few exceptions, for instance students with low self-monitoring had procrastination issues but also students with high self-monitoring scores had the same issue. Everybody has there own components that cause procrastination and it is really dependent on the individual’s habits. That’s why it may help for students with this issue to seek a councillor in order to evaluate them in a meta-cognitive manner.

Psychological Strategies To Avoid Procrastinating
She also gives many strategies in order to help students with their procrastination issues. Students should set short-term goals for themselves and find a environment that will commence a good work flow . The professors or teachers assistants should quiz the students every week in order to push the students to read the materials asked. Also working in a group with people who do not have any executive functioning issues may help the student because he may feel accountable and participate. Avoid acting out on bad impulses and habits. Set a sturdy schedule. Try to approve regulating emotions. Eventually when one practices theses strategies they will feel a sense of accomplishment and repeat these strategies until they become habits. When this process is repeated, it becomes second nature and practicing bad habits of procrastination shouldn’t come to mind. The big issue for this change is to have self-regulation. This applies to people beyond students. (Baumeister and Heatherton 1996) Elaborates on the feedback loop models of self-regulation, such as the one’s already elaborated by (Carver and Scheier 1981,1982; also Carver,1979). What is meant by feedback is that in order to self regulate, one must investigate the feedback from prior performances in order to create change. Thereare three components in this feedback loop.

1. Standards: One should set goals or ideals in comparison of one’s current state. This initiates the feedback loop
2. Monitoring: The second step is one should monitor himself and compare his current self to his standards. This is when the feedback loop is put into testing.
3. Operate: At this stage one should check the feedback of the performance, and if it does not come up to par with one’s standards. Change must put in place in order to have an efficient self-regulation.


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Farran, B. (2004). Predictors of academic procrastination in college students (3125010).
Ferrari, J. R. (1991). Self-handicapping by procrastinators: Protecting self-esteem, social-esteem, or both? Journal of Research in Personality, 25, 245-261.
Steel, P., Brothen, T., & Wambach, C. (2001). Procrastination and personality, performance, and mood. Personality and Individual Differences, 30, 95-106.Rabin, L.A., Fogel, J., & Nutter-Upham, K.E. (2011). Academic procrastination in college students: The role of self-reported executive function.
Rabin, L.A., Fogel, J., & Nutter-Upham, K.E. (2011). Academic procrastination in college students: The role of self-reported executive function. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, 33, 344-357.
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Baumeister R. F. & Heatherton T.F. (1996). Self-Regulation Failure: An Overview. Psychological Inquiry 1996, Vol.7, No. 1, 1-15

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