Publication details

Teória motivačného pozadia prokrastinácie

Title in English A theory of motivational background of procrastination


Year of publication 2011
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description The contribution introduces a theoretical study of the development of motivational models of procrastination supplemented by the results of the author’s own research on the effect of psychological reactance on procrastination. The contribution in a historical perspective briefly summarizes relevant concepts and confirmed correlates mutually interconnected by the postulates of Temporal Motivation Theory (TMT; Steel & König, 2006) based on the economic model of hyperbolic discounting. Psychological reactance represents a new aspect in the study of procrastination because it helps to explain the tendency to procrastinate independently of primary task aversiveness, which has always been an essential part of the original explanations of irrational delay. According to TMT the reward for finishing an important task on which one procrastinates is located in relatively far future. On the other hand, the work on the task itself is not only insufficiently rewarding, but is often even perceived as aversive. The procrastinator therefore chooses distractions over the task, since their value – although relatively low – is immediately accessible. The reactant procrastination concept enables to apply the model of hyperbolic discounting also to the situations when the work on the task feels originally more attractive than the distraction, since distractions often take the form of unattractive, banal, even stereotypical activities. The theory of psychological reactance postulates that a situational change in preferences for individual activities might occur due to the tendency to re-establish one’s freedom of choice: The individual suddenly finds the distracting activity more attractive because his/her freedom to engage in it has been restricted.

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