Procrastination and its Effect

In the article, Procrastination in College Students: The Role of Self-Efficacy and Anxiety, it is about procrastination and the relationship to efficacy expectations and anxiety. Procrastination discussed in this article is the failure to not get something done in a timely manner or putting things off (Haycock, McCarthy, Skay, 1998). Procrastination can become problematic if it is accompanied by internal discomfort or also known as anxiety. Procrastination is common among people but can be a serious problem. It can cause internal consequences like irritation, despair, regret, and self-blame (Haycock et al., 1998).

External consequences can also be a problem by impaired academic work, or work progress in general, losing opportunities, and putting strains on relationships. It is thought that procrastination is a habit that is learned from human preference for enjoyable activities or short-term rewards (Haycock et al., 1998). Others view procrastination as rebellion against overdemanding parents or excessive parents, or as a means of avoiding anxiety. There are several predictors of procrastination including irrational beliefs, attribution style, beliefs about time, self-esteem, optimism, and self-handicapping strategies. Procrastination is used as a strategy to protect fragile sense of self-esteem. People who base their self esteem on high performance on activities, procrastination allows them to avoid their complete testing of their abilities. Because of this they maintain the belief that their abilities are higher than their actual abilities might be. Self-efficacy is an individualr’s judgment on how well they will perform certain behaviors in certain situations.

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There are two components to self-efficacy: efficacy expectations are the beliefs to complete specific tasks with oner’s capabilities. Outcome expectations are the desired outcomes from certain behaviors. It was hypothesized that self-efficacy plays in initiating and completing behaviors (Haycock et al., 1998). There have only been a few studies done looking at the relationship between self-efficacy and procrastination. In research studies on procrastination and self-efficacy, anxiety is another variable that is commonly looked at. In threatening situations, people experience weak efficacy and increased anxiety. Procrastination could be an avoidance response related to one or both of these variables. The focus of this study was to see if procrastination would be predicted by variables that are theoretically or empirically tied to construct (Haycock et al., 1998). It was also hypnotized that efficacy would have the strongest predicators and anxiety would have the next strongest predictors of procrastination.

One hundred and forty-one college student volunteers that were enrolled at a midwestern university, participated in the study. The age range of the students that participated were 18 to 54 years old. The participants were acted to imagine themselves doing something meaningful such as writing a paper, finding a job, making a big decision, etc. The SEI was used to assess behaviors related to the task that they chose. The SEI was to assess efficacy level and strength. The level was measured by asking yes or no questions on whether they thought they could do a series of behaviors that vary in difficulty. Form G of the Procrastination Inventory was modified and was used to measure procrastination with 20 forced-choice items about general, everyday behavior.

The Spielberger State-Trait Anxiety Inventory was used to measure anxiety and consisted of two 20-item scales, the Trait scale and the State scale. The trait scale measures the tendency of perceiving situations as threatening. The state scale measures temporary anxiety in response to specific stimuli. Participants were asked to imagine themselves doing the same meaningful task as before. The participants finding showed moderate amounts of procrastination and high efficacy expectations. It was also reported high state anxiety and moderate trait anxiety. Procrastination was significantly related to self-efficacy and anxiety. Procrastination was inversely related to efficacy level and efficacy strength. Procrastination was both significantly and positively related to state and trait anxiety.

In the discussion, it was talked about that efficacy strength was significant and a inverse predictor of procrastination. Participants that had strong efficacy expectations didnt procrastinate as much. These finding are consistent with the other studies that had looked at efficacy expectations and procrastination (Haycock et al., 1998). Stronger efficacy expectations lead to greater task initiation and persistence, on the other hand weak efficacy expectations has less initiation and less persistence.

In the article, Academic Procrastination in College Students: The Role of Self-Reported Executive Function, its about how procrastination can impact academic self-efficacy, learning, quality of life and achievement negatively (Rabin, Fogel & Nutter-Upham, 2011). Academic procrastination is putting something off intentionally and not using time management. This occurs 30%-to 60% of undergraduate students, this is students who regularly put tasks off like doing assignments, studying for exams, or writing papers. It is acceptable to have occasional delays, but this can become problematic. What is the difference between problematic and habitual procrastination comes down to internal subjective discomfort. This discomfort can be anxiety, irritation, regret, despair, or self-blame. The external consequences would be decreased learning, lost opportunity, an increase in health risks, or strained relationships (Rabin et al., 2011).

Possible predictors of this are cognitive, emotional, and personality variables. Self-handicapping, low self-esteem, low academic self-efficacy, fear of failure, and distorted perceptions of available and required time to complete tasks are all frequently cited cognitive correlations. Other studies have found that anxiety, depression, and worry are all associated with procrastination. It has been reported in several studies that there were higher levels of procrastination in males, but many other studies have reported no gender difference (Rabin et al.,2011). The same thing occurred with age and procrastination. Failure in self-regulation is increasingly recognized as procrastination. A failure in regulation may have a reduced ability to resist social temptations, pleasurable activities, and short-term reward. There may also be a failure to make efficient use of internal and external cues to initiate, maintain, and terminate goal-directed actions (Rabin et al.,2011). Executive function is known as the frontal brain systems in self-regulatory and related processes.

Participants were taken from various undergraduate psychology courses at a four-year public college, that was part of the Urban University system (Rabin et al.,2011). There were 212 individuals in the study. The students had to complete a series of questionnaires that would take about 30-40 mins on the topic of academic motivation. They also completed a demographic questionnaire to report their age, sex, race, and any medical or psychiatric conditions. The following study measures were completed in the order they are listed. Lay General Procrastination Depression Inventory-II, this is a 20-item measure of trait procrastination that looked at the behavioral tendencies to delay of everyday tasks. The Lay General Procrastination Depression Inventory-II has good validity and reliability in a variety of ways (Rabin et al.,2011).

The Beck Depression Inventory-II and Beck Anxiety Inventory are the most commonly used self-administered measures of emotional functioning. This consists of 21 questions that evaluate the intensity of depression that was experienced over the past two weeks. Each of the 21 questions describes a common symptom of depression. They also have strong reliability and validity with young adults. The Shipley Institute of Living Scale is a intellectual functioning test that consists of a vocabulary and abstraction section. The NEO-FIT is used to measure the Big Five domains of adult personality. The Big Five are openness, conscientious, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism. The results of the study were the average procrastination scores were in the neutral range. The average score of the NEO-FIT were within the average to high range. The anxiety and depressive symptoms on average were within the minimal to mild range. Conscientiousness scores were associated with increasing procrastination along with the BDI-II and NEO-Conscientiousness.

The discussion talked about the findings showing the importance of self-reported executive functions in predicting the likelihood of academic procrastination. Students that have initiation problems have difficulty getting started, but they want to succeed. These people might need prompts or cues to begin an activity (Rabin et al.,2011). These people may also get overwhelmed with large amounts of information or work. There are effective strategies to help these students with procrastination like to set small goals to work towards the big goal. The results indicated that low conscientiousness was an important predicator of procrastination. The ability to shift from one situation or another is a component of executive functioning.

For the first article, Procrastination in College Students: The Role of Self-Efficacy and Anxiety the construct validity was good. I think the study measured the variables well, self-efficacy, efficacy level and strength, procrastination, anxiety, and demographics. For the self-efficacy, participants were asked to imagine and important and difficult project that is meaningful to them, and then respond to the SEI in the context to what they imagined. I think this is good construct validity, because it is making it meaningful to the participant and I think the data will be more accurate. The participants answered yes and no questions based on a series of behaviors that vary in difficulty for the level of efficacy (Haycock et al., 1998).

This could be a good method to use as long as the participants are answering truthfully and to the best of their ability. For the efficacy strength they were asked how confident they were in doing each of the behaviors. For the efficacy level and strength, I think overall this was probably the best approach in this research study. I think it worked and they got the results that were expected. To test the procrastination participants took a 20 forced-choice test that asked questions about everyday things. I think this a good option to test procrastination because it puts it in perspective and makes it meaningful to the person because they are personal to them. To test anxiety, was similar to the first task of imagining them doing the important and difficult project and they rated themselves on a Likert scale.

Demographics were asked by a questionnaire. I think overall this study has good construct validity, because the study used precise and reliable testing. In the study the numbers were given and proved that the study was done accurately. The external validity was good. The participation was voluntary, a researcher discussed what the study was about during class time. The sample included both undergraduates, adult extension and graduate students, along with a variety of different majors were represented in the study (Haycock et al., 1998). There was a variety of race in the participation, so different race was represented in the study. This research study did a good job at including a good representation of people in the study. The results support what the study is saying, the numbers make sense with what the researchers are saying. The results dont seem to be off or made up and seem to go with the data well. In the second article, Academic Procrastination in College Students: The Role of Self-Reported Executive Function, I think the construct validity was good. The study went into great detail when conducting the study. They had several different ways to measure what they needed. They used the Lay General Procrastination Scale, Student version, which examined the delay or completion of everyday tasks with behavioral tendencies. Beck Depression Inventory-II and the Beck Anxiety Inventory are two of the most commonly used self-administered tests for emotional functioning (Haycock et al., 1998).

There is strong support with young adults for their reliability and validity. The Shipley is a test that contains two portions a vocabulary and abstraction for general intellectual functioning. The NEO-FIT measures the Big Five, and previous research demonstrated the reliability and validity (Haycock et al., 1998). With all of these tests and measures that they used the construct is very strong. The researchers proved that this article measured the variables accurately with the detail that they went into and the did extra measures that werent in their order of testing. Like the BRIEF-A which is a self-reported measure that measures executive function in everyday environment (Haycock et al., 1998). External validity was strong, they pulled people from various psychology courses. So they did have did psychology courses in the study. They didnt have students from other courses, but they still did represent from different psychology classes. They got rid of individuals who were over the age of 30 because they were looking for people to fit the normal college profile. I think overall for the profile that they needed the external validity was strong, even though they didnt have other classes involved, they were doing the research in a psychology classroom. They also had the representation from sex, race, and medical or psychiatric conditions. The statistical validity was strong, the claim matches the data in the results. The results support the claim that the researcher gave, and the three tables help to prove that.

I think the most important article is Academic procrastination in college students: The Role of Self-Reported Executive Function. I think this is the most important because in my opinion I think this article has better and reliable construct validity. The researcher measured the variables in different ways and giving a more reliable result. The statistical validity was also better in this article. The numbers and data matched the claim closer than the other article. The top reason I think this article is more important because the replicability was better. Both articles were replicable, and the other article was able to be replicated sixty-eight times, but those studies werent replicated like this study. The article that I think is more important was replicated twenty-four times and some of those studies were replicated in a similar manner. This study was able to be replicated exactly where the other study was replicated similarly but not the same methods were used.

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