About this Research Topic
Procrastination – the voluntary delay of an intended course of action despite expecting to be worse off because of the delay – is a problem attracting increasing interest among researchers within different disciplines of psychology. Research on procrastination has documented the problematic nature of this irrational delay, as it relates to increased levels of stress and anxiety, reduced quality of life, and lower performance and productivity. Thus, procrastination can be considered a problem with both individual and societal impact.
Procrastination has received much research interest over the last decades, and the field has moved to an increased understanding of the self-regulatory problems involved in procrastination. Progress has also been made in areas such as the measurement of procrastination and how procrastination relates to personality, health, and academic achievement. However, there are still lacunas in our understanding of procrastination in several other important areas. In this Research Topic, we would like to extend procrastination research to previously under-researched areas. We suggest, but do not limit to, contributions in the following areas:
• Contextual and societal factors. The majority of studies have focused on individual factors in procrastination, often neglecting contextual influences. What are the situational and social factors that induce, mitigate, or worsen procras-tination and it’s effects?
• Cultural differences. Procrastination is a common term in many countries, but few studies have assessed cultural and national differences explicitly. For example, are there cultural and national differences as to whether delay is seen as procrastination? Do cultural differences in the perception of time play a role?
• Beyond self-reports. Self-report measures are often used to assess procrastination, but there is a need to establish alternative, more sensitive and objective measures.
• Culture-sensitive instruments. In what ways do cultures and subcultures perceive procrastination differently? Measures that are sensitive to differences vs. similarities between cultures should be developed.
• Study designs. Most studies on procrastination have been cross-sectional. Alternative designs, such as repeated measurements and longitudinal studies, may increase our understanding of the problem.
• Domain-specific consequences of procrastination. Most studies have addressed procrastination in the academic do-main. Although consequences may be negative in that domain, what can be said about the different domains, such as family and friends or personal development?
• Workplace procrastination. How is procrastination dealt with in the workplace? How do others view procrastinators in the workplace? How do supervisors deal with procrastination?
• Group-level procrastination. Procrastination is often considered an individual problem, but is it possible that groups or subcultures may share values that can enhance procrastination at the group level?
• Prevention. Can we develop ways in which procrastination may be prevented? Are there any specific educational prac-tices that may be helpful? Can internet tools be helpful in prevention?
• Intervention. Which interventions are most effective? Why are these most effective? What are the most effective as-pects of training or tools that have been designed to reduce procrastination? Are (widely sold) self-help books effec-tive in overcoming procrastination?
Keywords: Procrastination, measurement, cross-cultural, self-regulation
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