How Procrastination Is More Or Less Unknown?

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Procrastination is, for many individuals, a fact of life. Delaying until later an activity which would best be done right away, despite knowing that the delay will likely have a variety of negative effects, such as increased stress or decreased quality of work, is a common behavior. However, until recently, the psychological explanation for procrastination was more or less unknown. Starting in 1997, researchers began to look into the behaviors inherent in and effects of chronic procrastination. A recently published paper by Eric Jaffe, a member of the Association for Psychological Science, titled Why Wait? The Science Behind Procrastination, examined the results of these researchers’ work, and attempted to explain the resulting theories and concepts. In Why Wait, Jaffe discusses a number of issues, but mostly focuses on the effects of procrastination on both the work involved and the person doing the procrastinating and possible means of handling or dealing with chronic procrastination. According to some of the earliest studies into the topic, in 1997, procrastination produced a short-term improvement in the quality of one’s work, but a long term loss (Tice, D. M., & Baumeister, R. F. 1997, 454-458). Other studies showed that procrastinators suffered prolonged feelings of guilt and stress over the fact that they were procrastinating, but they did not change their behavior. This, the article says, implies that procrastination is, at its heart, a lack of ability to regulate

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