Publication details

“Motivated” self-regulation failure? Task-related distractedness as a mediator of the relationship between trait reactance and procrastination



Year of publication 2016
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description The present study further explores a previously supported positive relationship between procrastination and trait reactance. It is proposed that trait reactance might increase procrastination through preventing the individual from entering the implementation mindset when internal pressure to engage in the task threatens their freedom to engage in alternative activities. Reactance is expected to manifest as a sudden increase in the attractiveness of previously irrelevant activities, inability to disengage from other activities mentally, and increase in general distractedness in response to any attempts at working. This mechanism is expected to explain procrastination beyond the well-established personality predictors related to persisting self-regulation problems. The assumption was tested on a sample of 174 participants who completed measures of trait procrastination, trait reactance, conscientiousness, prospective action orientation, and the above hypothetical mediator variables. As expected, reactance was related to both procrastination and the hypothesized mediator variables, but was unrelated to either conscientiousness or action orientation. Results of a path analysis and a mediation analysis indicated that the effect of reactance on procrastination could be completely explained by the “reactive distractedness” represented by the tested mediators. This was not true about the personality predictors. In addition, reactance explained a substantial amount of variance in reactive distractedness independently of the two personality predictors of procrastination.

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