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Journal ArticleDOI

Absorbed in the moment? An investigation of procrastination, absorption and cognitive failures

01 Dec 2014-Personality and Individual Differences (Pergamon)-Vol. 71, pp 30-34
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors examined how and why absorption may account for procrastinators' tendency to focus on immediately rewarding activities at the cost of their long term goals, and the cognitive implications of being absorbed in the moment.
About: This article is published in Personality and Individual Differences.The article was published on 2014-12-01 and is currently open access. It has received 37 citations till now. The article focuses on the topics: Procrastination.

Summary (2 min read)

Introduction

  • An investigation of procrastination, absorption and cognitive failures.
  • An investigation of procrastination, absorption and cognitive failures.
  • This account of the temporal mood regulation dynamics underlying procrastination suggests that mindsets that facilitate pleasurable escape from immediately distressing states and tasks may be important factors for understanding procrastination.

Absorption as an Escapist Quality

  • Originally introduced in the 1970’s as a trait-like correlate of hypnotizability (Tellegen & Atkinson, 1974), absorption is a quality reflecting an openness to experience cognitive and emotional alterations across different situations (Roche & McConkey, 1990).
  • Absorption is conceptually related to openness to experience, and is linked most closely to the fantasy, aesthetics, and feelings facets of openness (Glisky, Tataryn, Tobias, Kihlstrom, & McConkey, 1991).
  • Moreover, this tendency to enter trans-like, timeless states can be experienced as dissociative or holistic in nature depending upon the situation and the other personal characteristics present (Roche & McConkey, 1990).
  • Links between absorption and behaviours reflecting escapist and immediately rewarding behaviours have also been demonstrated.
  • Among a sample of massively-multiplayer online (MMO) gamers, absorption and PROCRASTINATION AND ABSORPTION 5 anxiety were found to be predictors of problematic Internet use, possibly because the immersive environment of MMO is especially appealing to individuals who are both anxious (and therefore avoidant oriented) and fantasy prone (Cole & Hooley, 2013).

Procrastination and Absorption

  • There are several theoretical and empirical reasons to expect that procrastination may be associated with higher levels of absorption.
  • According to Tellegen (1981) high absorption individuals have a mental set that is more experiential (e.g., image oriented and affectively toned) than low absorption individuals who tend to have an instrumental set (e.g., realityoriented and practical).
  • This distinction between experiential and instrumental mindsets has some conceptual similarities to Kuhl’s (1985) distinction between state versus action orientations, with the former being associated with procrastination (Blunt & Pychyl, 1998).
  • Mood-repair conceptualizations of procrastination provide further support for the proposed link with absorption.
  • Absorption may also heighten sensitivity and responsiveness to goal derailing situational cues, as procrastination is associated with vulnerability to situational temptations (Dewitte & Schouwenburg, 2002; Sirois & Giguère, 2013).

The Present Research

  • Together this theory and research provide support for the proposition that procrastination may be linked to higher levels of absorption, and that absorption is a quality that may account for the procrastinators’ susceptibility to be distracted by more pleasurable activities as a means for dealing with negative mood states related to the completion of a challenging or aversive task.
  • From a mood repair perspective, the higher levels of state anxiety associated with procrastination (Flett, Blankstein, & Martin, 1995), may explain the link between procrastination and absorption.
  • A moderation analysis was therefore conducted to test this alternative hypothesis.
  • From this perspective it is possible that there are cognitive costs to procrastinators who tend to become absorbed in their more pleasurable distractions.
  • There is evidence that for high-absorption individuals, external attentional demands are not compatible with their preferred experiential mindset which tends to favour effortless, internal events (Roche & McConkey, 1990).

Participants and Procedure

  • Data analyzed for Study 2 was from a larger study on procrastination and cognitive self- regulation (Sirois & Tosti, 2012).
  • Students indicated their consent to participate by clicking “I agree” on the online consent form and submitting their survey responses.
  • Scale properties are reported in Table 1.
  • The Cognitive Failures Questionnaire (CFQ; Broadbent et al., 1982) is a well-validated 25-item measure of lapses in perception, memory, and motor function.

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Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors examined the associations among procrastination, ruminative brooding, mindfulness, and self-compassion, and found that increased levels on measures tapping cognitive risk factors or a low level of protective, self-relevant cognitive factors associated with resilience (mindfulness and selfcompassion) were related to a high level of depression.
Abstract: Extensive research indicates that procrastination is associated with many maladaptive outcomes including diminished performance and greater psychological distress, but the specific factors and mechanisms associated with the vulnerability of procrastinators still need to be identified. The current study examined the associations among procrastination, ruminative brooding, mindfulness, and self-compassion. Procrastination was measured in terms of academic procrastination as well as a cognitive measure of procrastination examining the frequency of procrastination-related automatic thoughts. In addition to the main focus on the vulnerability of procrastinators, the question of whether students with multiple vulnerabilities would be particularly at risk for depression was also assessed. A sample of 214 undergraduate students completed measures of academic procrastination, procrastination-related automatic thoughts, rumination, mindfulness, self-compassion, and depression. Correlational analyses showed that both procrastination measures were associated with ruminative brooding as well as reduced mindfulness and self-compassion. Moderator-effect tests yielded no significant interactions. Overall, our findings highlight the relevance of cognitive factors in explaining procrastination and depression. Elevated levels on measures tapping cognitive risk factors (ruminative brooding and procrastination-related automatic thoughts) or a low level of protective, self-relevant cognitive factors associated with resilience (mindfulness and self-compassion) were related to a high level of procrastination and depression. These results imply that procrastinators might be vulnerable to depression due to the joint presence of these cognitive risk and resilience factors.

63 citations

Book ChapterDOI
01 Jan 2016
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors explore how procrastination functions as an emotion-regulation strategy that provides short-term mood repair and explain why the priority of mood repair results in the task avoidance.
Abstract: In this chapter, we explore how procrastination functions as an emotion-regulation strategy that provides short-term mood repair. We begin by explaining the link between emotion regulation and procrastination, drawing on more general research on self-regulation that demonstrates how regulating moods and feeling states can lead to a failure of self-control. Here we explain how, when faced with aversive tasks, the priority of mood repair results in the task avoidance we label procrastination. Having established the link between emotion regulation and procrastination, we then turn to the rapidly expanding research literature on emotion regulation with a particular emphasis on the conceptual frameworks developed by Gross (2013, 2014) and Koole (2009). We summarize how both process and function perspectives allow us to understand why it is that the present self engages in self-defeating delay at the expense of the future self. Situating procrastination as a form of emotion regulation that provides a short-term hedonic shift helps us to understand the paradoxical conflict between the present self and the future self when we procrastinate. Based on this emotion-regulation perspective, we then discuss avenues for future research with a focus on well-being and health.

52 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This study proposes a novel theoretical model which clarifies how the motivation to act and the motivated to avoid vary differently when delaying a task, explaining why people decide not to act now but are willing to act in the future.
Abstract: Procrastination, the voluntary and irrational delay of an intended course of action, has troubled individuals and society extensively. Various studies have been conducted to explain why people procrastinate and to explore the neural substrates of procrastination. First, research has identified many contributing factors to procrastination. Specifically, task aversiveness, future incentives, and time delay of these incentives have been confirmed as three prominent task characteristics that affect procrastination. On the other hand, self-control and impulsivity have been identified as two most predictive traits of procrastination. After identifying contributing factors, two important theories proposed to explain procrastination by integrating these factors are reviewed. Specifically, an emotion-regulation perspective regards procrastination as a form of self-regulation failure that reflects giving priority to short-term mood repair over achieving long-term goals. However, temporal motivation theory explains why people's motivation to act increases when time approaches a deadline with time discounting effect. To further specify the cognitive mechanism underlying procrastination, this study proposes a novel theoretical model which clarifies how the motivation to act and the motivation to avoid vary differently when delaying a task, explaining why people decide not to act now but are willing to act in the future. Of note, few recent studies have investigated neural correlates of procrastination. Specifically, it was revealed that individual differences in procrastination are correlated with structural abnormalities and altered spontaneous metabolism in the parahippocampal cortex and the prefrontal cortex, which might contribute to procrastination through episodic future thinking or memory and emotion regulation, respectively. This article is categorized under: Economics > Individual Decision Making Psychology > Theory and Methods Psychology > Emotion and Motivation Psychology > Reasoning and Decision Making.

38 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors examined how and why absorption may account for procrastinators' tendency to focus on immediately rewarding activities at the cost of their long term goals, and the cognitive implications of being absorbed in the moment.

37 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It was found that flow was negatively related to inatt attention, indicating that people who experience flow more frequently may experience relatively less inattention in everyday contexts.
Abstract: Conceptualizing the construct of flow in terms of 'deep and effortless concentration', we developed two measurement scales designed to index individual differences in flow during 'internal' tasks, such as thinking (deep effortless concentration: internal-DECI) and during 'external' tasks, such as while playing a sport (deep effortless concentration: external-DECE). These scales were highly correlated, indicating that individuals prone to experiencing flow in external contexts are also prone to experience flow in internal contexts. Nonetheless, a measurement model construing internal and external flow as related, but separate, constructs was found to fit the data significantly better than a model where they were construed as a single construct. We then explored associations between flow and various forms of everyday inattention. In addition, we explored the relation between flow and the Tellegen Absorption Scale (TAS), an index of absorption, as well as the Big Five personality traits. Amongst other things, we found that flow was negatively related to inattention, indicating that people who experience flow more frequently may experience relatively less inattention in everyday contexts.

35 citations

References
More filters
Book
06 May 2013
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors present a discussion of whether, if, how, and when a moderate mediator can be used to moderate another variable's effect in a conditional process analysis.
Abstract: I. FUNDAMENTAL CONCEPTS 1. Introduction 1.1. A Scientist in Training 1.2. Questions of Whether, If, How, and When 1.3. Conditional Process Analysis 1.4. Correlation, Causality, and Statistical Modeling 1.5. Statistical Software 1.6. Overview of this Book 1.7. Chapter Summary 2. Simple Linear Regression 2.1. Correlation and Prediction 2.2. The Simple Linear Regression Equation 2.3. Statistical Inference 2.4. Assumptions for Interpretation and Statistical Inference 2.5. Chapter Summary 3. Multiple Linear Regression 3.1. The Multiple Linear Regression Equation 3.2. Partial Association and Statistical Control 3.3. Statistical Inference in Multiple Regression 3.4. Statistical and Conceptual Diagrams 3.5. Chapter Summary II. MEDIATION ANALYSIS 4. The Simple Mediation Model 4.1. The Simple Mediation Model 4.2. Estimation of the Direct, Indirect, and Total Effects of X 4.3. Example with Dichotomous X: The Influence of Presumed Media Influence 4.4. Statistical Inference 4.5. An Example with Continuous X: Economic Stress among Small Business Owners 4.6. Chapter Summary 5. Multiple Mediator Models 5.1. The Parallel Multiple Mediator Model 5.2. Example Using the Presumed Media Influence Study 5.3. Statistical Inference 5.4. The Serial Multiple Mediator Model 5.5. Complementarity and Competition among Mediators 5.6. OLS Regression versus Structural Equation Modeling 5.7. Chapter Summary III. MODERATION ANALYSIS 6. Miscellaneous Topics in Mediation Analysis 6.1. What About Baron and Kenny? 6.2. Confounding and Causal Order 6.3. Effect Size 6.4. Multiple Xs or Ys: Analyze Separately or Simultaneously? 6.5. Reporting a Mediation Analysis 6.6. Chapter Summary 7. Fundamentals of Moderation Analysis 7.1. Conditional and Unconditional Effects 7.2. An Example: Sex Discrimination in the Workplace 7.3. Visualizing Moderation 7.4. Probing an Interaction 7.5. Chapter Summary 8. Extending Moderation Analysis Principles 8.1. Moderation Involving a Dichotomous Moderator 8.2. Interaction between Two Quantitative Variables 8.3. Hierarchical versus Simultaneous Variable Entry 8.4. The Equivalence between Moderated Regression Analysis and a 2 x 2 Factorial Analysis of Variance 8.5. Chapter Summary 9. Miscellaneous Topics in Moderation Analysis 9.1. Truths and Myths about Mean Centering 9.2. The Estimation and Interpretation of Standardized Regression Coefficients in a Moderation Analysis 9.3. Artificial Categorization and Subgroups Analysis 9.4. More Than One Moderator 9.5. Reporting a Moderation Analysis 9.6. Chapter Summary IV. CONDITIONAL PROCESS ANALYSIS 10. Conditional Process Analysis 10.1. Examples of Conditional Process Models in the Literature 10.2. Conditional Direct and Indirect Effects 10.3. Example: Hiding Your Feelings from Your Work Team 10.4. Statistical Inference 10.5. Conditional Process Analysis in PROCESS 10.6. Chapter Summary 11. Further Examples of Conditional Process Analysis 11.1. Revisiting the Sexual Discrimination Study 11.2. Moderation of the Direct and Indirect Effects in a Conditional Process Model 11.3. Visualizing the Direct and Indirect Effects 11.4. Mediated Moderation 11.5. Chapter Summary 12. Miscellaneous Topics in Conditional Process Analysis 12.1. A Strategy for Approaching Your Analysis 12.2. Can a Variable Simultaneously Mediate and Moderate Another Variable's Effect? 12.3. Comparing Conditional Indirect Effects and a Formal Test of Moderated Mediation 12.4. The Pitfalls of Subgroups Analysis 12.5. Writing about Conditional Process Modeling 12.6. Chapter Summary Appendix A. Using PROCESS Appendix B. Monte Carlo Confidence Intervals in SPSS and SAS

26,144 citations


"Absorbed in the moment? An investig..." refers methods in this paper

  • ...To explore the alternative hypothesis that anxiety moderated the association between procrastination and absorption, a moderation analysis was conducted with the macro PROCESS (Hayes, 2013)....

    [...]

  • ...To explore the alternative hypothesis that anxiety moderated the association between procrastination and absorption, a moderation analysis was conducted with the macro PROCESS (Hayes, 2013)....

    [...]

  • ...The effect size was estimated with a Kappa(2) statistic calculated with the SPSS macro using PROCESS (Hayes, 2013)....

    [...]

  • ...The effect size was estimated with a Kappa2 statistic calculated with the SPSS macro using PROCESS (Hayes, 2013)....

    [...]

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: An overview of simple and multiple mediation is provided and three approaches that can be used to investigate indirect processes, as well as methods for contrasting two or more mediators within a single model are explored.
Abstract: Hypotheses involving mediation are common in the behavioral sciences. Mediation exists when a predictor affects a dependent variable indirectly through at least one intervening variable, or mediator. Methods to assess mediation involving multiple simultaneous mediators have received little attention in the methodological literature despite a clear need. We provide an overview of simple and multiple mediation and explore three approaches that can be used to investigate indirect processes, as well as methods for contrasting two or more mediators within a single model. We present an illustrative example, assessing and contrasting potential mediators of the relationship between the helpfulness of socialization agents and job satisfaction. We also provide SAS and SPSS macros, as well as Mplus and LISREL syntax, to facilitate the use of these methods in applications.

25,799 citations


"Absorbed in the moment? An investig..." refers methods in this paper

  • ...The significance of the indirect effects (meditation) of procrastination on absorption through state anxiety were evaluated using the SPSS macros INDIRECT (Preacher & Hayes, 2008) which employs a bootstrapping resampling procedure that involves drawing k bootstrapped samples from the data in order to estimate the indirect effect and its confidence interval (CI)....

    [...]

  • ...…of the indirect effects (meditation) of procrastination on absorption through state anxiety were evaluated using the SPSS macros INDIRECT (Preacher & Hayes, 2008) which employs a bootstrapping resampling procedure that involves drawing k bootstrapped samples from the data in order to…...

    [...]

01 Jan 1970
TL;DR: The STAI as mentioned in this paper is an indicator of two types of anxiety, the state and trait anxiety, and measure the severity of the overall anxiety level, which is appropriate for those who have at least a sixth grade reading level.
Abstract: The STAI serves as an indicator of two types of anxiety, the state and trait anxiety, and measure the severity of the overall anxiety level.The STAI, which is appropriate for those who have at least a sixth grade reading level, contains four-point Likert items. The instrument is divided into two sections, each having twenty questions. Approximately 15 minutes are required for adults to complete the both STAI. The number on the scale is positively correlated to the anxiety related to in the question.

24,997 citations


"Absorbed in the moment? An investig..." refers background in this paper

  • ...The STAI has demonstrated very good internal consistency across a variety of samples, with alphas ranging from .86 to .95 (Spielberger et al., 1983)....

    [...]

Book
01 Jan 1984
TL;DR: This chapter discusses the nature of Behavioral Research, the development and testing of research ideas, and the selection of subjects and Stimuli for experiments.
Abstract: PART I: EMPIRICAL INQUIRY AND DECISION CRITERIACHAPTER 1: The Nature of Behavioral ResearchCHAPTER 2: Development and Testing of Research IdeasCHAPTER 3: Standards of Reliability and ValidityPART II: NATURE AND LIMITATIONS OF CONTROL PROCEDURESCHAPTER 4: Structure and Logic of Experimental DesignsCHAPTER 5: Models of Quasi-Experimental DesignsCHAPTER 6: Subject-Experimenter Artifacts and Their ControlPART III: DATA COLLECTION AND MEASUREMENT PROCEDURESCHAPTER 7: Further Strategies for Gathering DataCHAPTER 8: Systematic Observation, Unobtrusive Measures, and Rating FormatsCHAPTER 9: Interviews, Questionnaires, and Self-Recorded DiariesPART IV: BASIC ISSUES IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF RESEARCHCHAPTER 10: Considerations in the Selection of Subjects and StimuliCHAPTER 11: Ethics and Values in Human Subject ResearchCHAPTER 12: Systematic Pluralism and Statistical Data AnalysisPART V: FUNDAMENTALS OF DATA ANALYSISCHAPTER 13: Describing and Displaying DataCHAPTER 14: CorrelationCHAPTER 15: Comparing MeansPART VI: MORE ON ANALYSIS OF VARIANCECHAPTER 16: Factorial Design of ExperimentsCHAPTER 17: Interaction EffectsCHAPTER 18: Repeated-Measures DesignsPART VII: POWER AND FOCUSED ANALYSESCHAPTER 19: Assessing and Increasing PowerCHAPTER 20: Blocking and the Increase of PowerCHAPTER 21: Contrast Analysis: An IntroductionPART VIII: ADDITIONAL TOPICS IN DATA ANALYSISCHAPTER 22: Meta-Analysis: Comparing and Combining ResultsCHAPTER 23: Chi-Square and the Analysis of TablesCHAPTER 24: Multivariate Procedures

3,782 citations


"Absorbed in the moment? An investig..." refers background in this paper

  • ...Recent research noting the genetic basis of trait procrastination (Gustavson, Miyake, Hewitt, & Friedman, 2014) also provides a reasonable argument for the temporal precedence of procrastination in the models tested (Rosenthal & Rosnow, 1991)....

    [...]

Book
01 Jan 1985
TL;DR: In this paper, a theory of reasoned action is proposed to explain and explain the intention-behavior relation and plans, goals, and actions of human beings, and a control-systems approach to the self-regulation of action.
Abstract: 1. Introduction and Overview.- I. Cognitive and Motivational Determinants of Action.- 2. From Intentions to Actions: A Theory of Planned Behavior.- Predicting and Explaining Volitional Behavior: A Theory of Reasoned Action.- Empirical Support.- The Intention-Behavior Relation.- Plans, Goals, and Actions.- A Theory of Planned Behavior.- Summary and Conclusions.- 3. Knowing What to Do: On the Epistemology of Actions.- A Theory of Lay Epistemology.- Conclusion.- 4. The Pursuit of Self-Defining Goals.- A Central Distinction: Self-Defining vs. Non-Self-Defining Goals.- A Theory of Symbolic Self-Completion.- Self-Symbolizing: The Cognition-Behavior Relation.- The Relation Between Self-Report and Behavior.- Self-Symbolizing : The Interference with Goals That Are Not Self-Defining.- Summary.- II. Self-Regulatory Processes and Action Control.- 5. Historical Perspectives in the Study of Action Control.- Overview of Early Theories of Volition.- Ach's Psychology of Volition.- 6. Volitional Mediators of Cognition-Behavior Consistency Self Regulatory Processes and Action Versus State Orientation.- A Theoretical Framework.- Empirical Evidence.- Conclusion.- 7. Dissonance and Action Control.- The Relevance of the Theory of Cognitive Dissonance for Processes of Action Control.- Implications for the Theory of Cognitive Dissonance.- Conclusion.- 8. Action Control and the Coping Process.- Coping with Life Crises: The Gap Between Theory and Practice.- Action Control and the Coping Process.- Coping with Undesirable Life Events: Implications for the Theory of Action Control.- Conclusions and Implications.- III. Problem-Solving and Performance Control.- 9. Mechanisms of Control and Regulation in Problem Solving.- Requirements of a Theory of Problem-Solving.- Models of Cognitive Control in Problem Solving.- Models of Planning: A Metacognitive Activity.- Empirical Results: Evidence for Executive Control.- 10. Thinking and the Organization of Action.- The Organization of Behavior: A General Picture.- Heuristic Processes: Their Elements and Determinants.- Conclusion.- 11. A Control-Systems Approach to the Self-Regulation of Action.- A Control-Systems Model of Self-Regulation.- Reassertion and Giving Up: Helplessness and Alternative Interpretations.- Applications ineffective Self-Management, and Behavior Change.- Conclusion.- 12. From Cognition to Behavior: Perspectives for Future Research on Action Control.- From Predictive to Explanatory Models.- From Molar to Molecular Levels of Analysis.- From Simple Cases to Psychologically Representative Behavior.- From Associationistic to Dynamic Models.- From "Cognition-Behavior Consistency" to "Motivational Stability".- Conclusion.- Author Index.

2,523 citations

Frequently Asked Questions (1)
Q1. What contributions have the authors mentioned in the paper "Absorbed in the moment? an investigation of procrastination, absorption and cognitive failures" ?

The aim of the current research was to examine how and why absorption a mindset reflecting a responsiveness to engaging stimuli – may account for procrastinators ’ tendency to focus on immediately rewarding activities at the cost of their long term goals, and the cognitive implications of being absorbed in the moment. A bootstrapping analysis of the indirect effects of procrastination on absorption through state anxiety in Study 1 was significant supporting the hypothesized role of absorption as a vulnerability towards mood-regulating distractions for procrastinators. For example, a study of impulse buying found that individuals who scored high on absorption were more influenced by environmental sensory cues and visual stimuli, and this heightened sensitivity made them more likely to override their will power and follow their desires to make impulse purchases ( Youn & Faber, 2000 ). Taken together, these findings suggest a cognitive escape hypothesis to explain how procrastinators deal with negative moods, and provides new insights into the factors and processes that contribute to the self-regulation difficulties that characterize trait procrastination. This account of the temporal mood regulation dynamics underlying procrastination suggests that mindsets that facilitate pleasurable escape from immediately distressing states and tasks may be important factors for understanding procrastination. Mood-repair conceptualizations of procrastination provide further support for the proposed link with absorption.