Publication details

The Mystery of “Should”: Procrastination, Delay, and Reactance in Academic Settings



Year of publication 2015
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Personality and Individual Differences
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Field Psychology
Keywords Academic procrastination; psychological reactance; delay
Description The study explores the effect of trait reactance on procrastination and delay in students of two study programmes differing in the structuring of academic tasks and the role they play in course assessment. Both subsamples (n = 97 and 139) completed measures of trait reactance, chronic academic procrastination, self-reported task procrastination and actual task delay. The data were analyzed using path analysis and SEM. As hypothesized, psychological reactance positively predicted procrastination, especially the 'chronic delay' component underlying all three procrastination-related measures. However, some of the effect of reactance on this delay-dependent component of procrastination was apparently suppressed by what might have been a subjective (delay-independent) component of self-reported task procrastination. Furthermore, reactance was significantly related to delay only when good performance on the task was of relatively high importance. Apart from providing evidence for a possible link between reactance and procrastination, the results also demonstrate that it is important to distinguish between the experiential and objective (temporal) components of procrastination, as the two might be represented by completely different nomological networks.
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