Findings In Academic Procrastination VS Personalities

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Procrastination exists almost as long as humanity exists, which makes me wonder which characteristics in human that contribute to this long-lasting incurable 'disease'. Based on my self-exploration and conversation with friends, I assumed there were two categories of reasons behind this symptom: personalities and tasks. Like the clear distinctions between the personalities of morning birds and night owls, there is a solid line between high procrastinators and others. People are more likely to find similarities in a group of people. Thus, it may be easy to make some generalizations. However, when it comes to task-oriented reasons, those vary among individuals. For example, someone may postpone math assignments to avoid a headache, and meanwhile, someone delays English writing because of perfectionism. It appears that personalities are the causation of these behaviors. To understand if personalities are behind all this, I searched for some articles online.

Judith L. Johnson and A. Michael Bloom studied the contribution of personalities in academic procrastination and published 'An Analysis of the Contribution of the Five Factors of Personality to Variance in Academic Procrastination' in Personality and Individual Differences. In the introduction part, the authors defined procrastination, and divided existed theories into two classes: task-oriented and personality-oriented. They claimed that personality-approach is more systematic, and no one had ever used the five-factor model of personality (Conscientiousness, Neuroticism, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Openness to Experience) to study procrastination. Thus, they conducted an experiment with the model and Aitken's Procrastination Inventory to explore which personality was able to explain the most proportion of variance in procrastination scores. 202 Villanova undergraduates participated in the experiment voluntarily by filling a set of questionnaires regarding different facets of personalities and procrastination. After processing the responses, the researchers concluded that gender, extraversion, agreeableness, and openness to experience were not a significant contributor to procrastination. In addition, conscientiousness accounts for a significant proportion of the unique variance in academic procrastination. The facets of conscientiousness, competence, order, dutifulness, achievement-striving, self-discipline, and deliberation all share a negative correlation with procrastination, which indicated disorganized, absent-minded, inefficient, lacking industriousness, lower ambition, determination, persistence, and self-confidence, and resourcefulness. Moreover, the experiment showed that procrastination also associated with Neuroticism, which reflected the neurotic features of procrastinators, such as vulnerability and impulsivity, with a feeling of anxiety. The authors mentioned at the end of the article that understanding the significant factors would help form more specific treatments such as following daily routines or making an ordered to-do list.

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Besides the five-factor model, Murat Boysan and Erkan Kiral did research on other personalities. They published their research article, 'Associations between procrastination, personality, perfectionism, self-esteem, and locus of control' in the British Journal of Guidance & Counselling. They demonstrated their hypotheses at the beginning of the paper, which were: 'academic procrastination is strongly associated with personality traits, particularly conscientiousness.', 'procrastination is significantly related to the aspects of perfectionism, specifically organization.', and 'self-esteem and internal locus of control are inverse associates of academic procrastination.' To testify their hypotheses, they recruited 242 adult volunteers to complete five different questionnaires, such as the Aiken Procrastination Inventory, Levenson Multidimensional Locus of Control Scale-Short Form, Big Five Inventory, Frost Multidimensional Perfectionism Scale, and Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. After analyzing the data, researchers found that conscientiousness, organization, internal locus of control, concern over mistakes, and parental criticism had correlated with academic procrastination. However, for the relationship between self-esteem and academic procrastination, there was no direct evidence that could support the hypothesis. According to the authors, that might be caused by a lack of academic achievement data. At the end of the article, the authors said that the findings of this research could be used to prevent and intervene in procrastination.

However, Minda Zetlin and Alice Boyes separated procrastination and personalities and wrote 'Procrastination or Anxiety? Here's How to Tell the Difference, According to a Psychology Ph.D.' on Inc. This Morning. Alice referred to procrastination as laziness or self-sabotage and distinguished it from postponing work because of anxiety and fear. Minda used her own example to explain this idea at the beginning. Since she was too afraid that something went wrong about her household finances, she kept delaying some long-overdue tasks around it. Then, Alice gave three signs to identify whether it is anxiety or procrastination that causes postponing behavior. The first one is, 'You're blaming someone else for your delay.' The article mentioned that if people used others' fault as an excuse for unfinished tasks, that might be because they paid too much attention to others' contributions and obstruct work, which led to lower self-responsibility. The second one is, 'You've done this before, but now something's changed.' Alice said that, when the situation changed, such as being evaluated for promotion, the daily routine could be frightened as well, but since people have done this before, they may not be able to identify the fear. The last one is, 'You're trying to make it absolutely perfect.' Authors believed that perfectionism could also be caused by worrying something might be wrong. At the end of the article, the authors gave two pieces of advice to conquer this problem. The first is to be aware of the source of the fear, and the second is that after identifying the fear, people need to change their minds to fight it.

The first two sources are peer-reviewed articles I found in Purdue Library; the last one is a news posted on a non-mainstream news website. From the findings of the first two articles, we can see that some personalities do contribute to the variance of academic procrastination. Whereas, authors of the news did not agree with that the behavior of delaying tasks because of anxiety and fear can be called procrastination. However, all three articles mentioned identifying the causation and correlation of academic procrastination can be helpful to prevent or alleviate it.

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Findings In Academic Procrastination VS Personalities. (2022, Jun 16). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 12, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/findings-in-academic-procrastination-vs-personalities/
“Findings In Academic Procrastination VS Personalities.” Edubirdie, 16 Jun. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/findings-in-academic-procrastination-vs-personalities/
Findings In Academic Procrastination VS Personalities. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/findings-in-academic-procrastination-vs-personalities/> [Accessed 12 Jul. 2024].
Findings In Academic Procrastination VS Personalities [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 16 [cited 2024 Jul 12]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/findings-in-academic-procrastination-vs-personalities/
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