I’m willing to bet that many of you reading this post are supposed to be doing something else right now. About 15-20% of you should be, at least according to data on procrastinators published by LiveScience. There are a variety of research supported theoretical causes for procrastination including having low confidence in one’s ability to complete the task and impulsiveness.

Impulsive people value today far more than tomorrow. “So they can’t feel motivated, deadlines don’t feel real, they have no energy until just before they happen,” Steel said. These people have the best of intentions, aiming to get started right away, but they don’t end up following through on their self-promises.

From a behavioral perspective, people who procrastinate and still put together great work just before a deadline never experience the negative consequences of waiting until the last minute. They essentially get reinforced for working at the last minute, which then reproduces the behavior. Kicking that bad habit can sometimes take as little as one large failure.

 


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    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 12 Jan 2007
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.

APA Reference
Meek, W. (2007). Theory Behind Procrastination. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 18, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2007/01/12/theory-behind-procrastination/

 

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