The present study sought to examine the view that procrastination can be explained as a result of the joint effect of a general discounting mechanism and a personality trait. To demonstrate the discounting mechanism, the process of study motivation prior to an examination was mentally simulated by 302 university students. Study motivation was operationalised in three ways: (1) As an estimate of general motivation towards studying, (2) as a measure of resistance to temptation averaged over five social situations, and (3) as a weekly average of hours spent studying each day. Results indicate that discounting of study motivation as a function of time left until the examination closely follows the formula suggested by the self-control literature. Differences in rate of discounting between high, moderate, and low procrastinators were significant for actual study behaviour, but not for general motivation or resistance to temptation. This may be similar to the general finding that procrastinators tend to differ from non-procrastinators in behaviour rather than in intentions. The results are taken as support for the theoretical view on procrastination adopted in this study. (C) 2000 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
|Tijdschrift||Personality and Individual Differences|
|Nummer van het tijdschrift||2|
|Status||Published - 19-jan.-2001|