Life Regrets by Avoidant and Arousal Procrastinators: Why Put Off Today What You Will Regret Tomorrow

Topics: Likert scale, Leisure, Statistical significance Pages: 5 (1171 words) Published: April 26, 2012
Life Regrets by Avoidant and Arousal Procrastinators: Why put off today what you will regret tomorrow?

Joseph R. Ferrari, Kelly L. Barnes, and Piers Steel
Journal of Individual Differences
Volume 30(3): 163-168
Publication Year: 2009

Elaine Rose Espiritu
Introduction to General Psychology 1101-M
Dr. Tadd Patton
21 October 2010

I. Introduction

The report defines procrastination as “purposively delaying an intended course of action”. In the United States, 20-25% of men and women are classified as chronic procrastinators, indication of which such behavior is a large problem. Chronic behavioral procrastination has been categorized into two categories: arousal procrastination and avoidant procrastination. Arousal procrastination encompasses the idea of delaying for the sake of excitement and ridding boredom and engaging the belief of “working better under pressure”. Avoidant procrastination includes the idea of deferring tasks due to fear of incompetence or even success. Previous studies have linked procrastination to personality traits such as “low states of self confidence and self-esteem and high states of depression, neurosis, self-awareness, social anxiety, forgetfulness, disorganization, noncompetitiveness, dysfunctional impulsivity, behavioral rigidity, and lack of energy”. With such a link, procrastinators are also found to have “poor task performance”. Researchers believe that such consequences of dilatory behavior will instill a sense of regret. In this study, researchers hope to find the relationship between procrastination and regrets in life.

II. Methods

On a website that is a dominant search result for “procrastination” on Google, subjects were incited to take the following surveys: The Adult Inventory of Procrastination (AIP), The General Procrastination Scale (GP), and the Life Domain Regret (LDR) Inventory. The AIP has 15 items and is based on a 5-point Likert scale with the range of 1= strongly disagree to 5= strongly agree. The AIP measures avoidant procrastination. The GP Scale has 20 items and also is based on a 5-point Likert scale with a range of 1= not true of me to 5= very true of me. The GP scale is associated with measuring arousal procrastination. The LDR inventory has 12 life domain areas in which participants indicate the regret felt toward each item. The scale ranges from 1= a little regret to 5= a lot of regret. The surveys included demographic items. The surveys were posted for 8 weeks and pilot testing shows that approximately 20 minutes were required to complete the entire survey.

The participants composed of 2,887 adults (1,776 women and 1,111 men). The average age of the subjects was 38.63 years. The range of ages were from 25-80 years old. Of the participants, 82.4% stated they were Caucasian, 79.5% stated to be educated with at least an undergraduate degree, 64.4% reside in suburban areas, 56.4% were employed full time, and the average annual income was $61,739.25. 46.7% claimed to be single.

III. Results and Discussion

First, researchers found that arousal procrastination tendencies had a positive relation to all life domains except for spirituality. Avoidant procrastination tendencies had a positive relation to most life domains except for community service, parenting, family interactions, and spiritual growth.

Afterward, the researchers identified who among the participants were “pure types”, those who, by score, were strictly arousal procrastinators, avoidant procrastinators, or nonprocrastinators. They resulted in having 386 chronic arousal procrastinators (245 women, 141 men), 220 chronic avoidant procrastinators (133 women, 87 men), and 215 nonprocrastinators (134 women, 81 men). Through chi-square analysis, the proportions of women to men in each group are similar to the original total sample size. Further analyses are based on the new sample of “pure types”.

When all three procrastination types are compared, it is found that there were no...
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