Examining procrastination across multiple goal stages: A longitudinal study of temporal motivation theory

Piers Steel, Frode Svartdal, Tomas Thundiyil, Thomas Brothen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations

Abstract

Procrastination is among the most common of motivational failures, putting offdespite expecting to be worse off. We examine this dynamic phenomenon in a detailed and realistic longitudinal design (Study 1) as well as in a large correlational data set (N = 7400; Study 2). The results are largely consistent with temporal motivation theory. People's pacing style reflects a hyperbolic curve, with the steepness of the curve predicted by self-reported procrastination. Procrastination is related to intention-action gaps, but not intentions. Procrastinators are susceptible to proximity of temptation and to the temporal separation between their intention and the planned act; the more distal, the greater the gap. Critical self-regulatory skills in explaining procrastination are attention control, energy regulation and automaticity, accounting for 74% of the variance. Future research using this design is recommended, as it provides an almost ideal blend of realism and detailed longitudinal assessment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number327
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Volume9
Issue numberAPR
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 3 2018

Keywords

  • Longitudinal
  • Motivation
  • Pacing style
  • Procrastination
  • Self-regulation
  • Temporal trajectories

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Examining procrastination across multiple goal stages: A longitudinal study of temporal motivation theory'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this