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Business before pleasure: No strategy for procrastinators?


König, C J; Kleinmann, Martin (2004). Business before pleasure: No strategy for procrastinators? Personality and Individual Differences, 37:1045-1057.

Abstract

This article addresses the effects of choice bracketing on time management decisions of procrastinators and nonprocrastinators. Behavioral decision making theory predicts that time discounting influences time management choices: People discount the future costs of procrastinating and therefore choose to do other, more enjoyable things. Differences in the steepness of discounting can consequently differentiate between procrastinators and nonprocrastinators. However, if choices are bracketed together, people prefer improving sequences. Choice bracketing seems to induce a shift from positive to negative discounting (preferring positive outcomes to occur later rather than sooner). If procrastinators have to choose between sequences of academic tasks that are bracketed together, the shift from positive to negative time discounting might not be strong enough to induce negative discounting because of their steep discounting. This idea was tested in two studies in which students had to make choices between sequences of academic tasks. As predicted, procrastinators showed a preference for improving sequences to a lesser extent than nonprocrastinators. Study 2 also showed that manipulating the strength of choice bracketing influences the likelihood of finding a preference for improvement. This supports the usefulness of linking procrastination research with behavioral decision making research and allows for practical implications.

Abstract

This article addresses the effects of choice bracketing on time management decisions of procrastinators and nonprocrastinators. Behavioral decision making theory predicts that time discounting influences time management choices: People discount the future costs of procrastinating and therefore choose to do other, more enjoyable things. Differences in the steepness of discounting can consequently differentiate between procrastinators and nonprocrastinators. However, if choices are bracketed together, people prefer improving sequences. Choice bracketing seems to induce a shift from positive to negative discounting (preferring positive outcomes to occur later rather than sooner). If procrastinators have to choose between sequences of academic tasks that are bracketed together, the shift from positive to negative time discounting might not be strong enough to induce negative discounting because of their steep discounting. This idea was tested in two studies in which students had to make choices between sequences of academic tasks. As predicted, procrastinators showed a preference for improving sequences to a lesser extent than nonprocrastinators. Study 2 also showed that manipulating the strength of choice bracketing influences the likelihood of finding a preference for improvement. This supports the usefulness of linking procrastination research with behavioral decision making research and allows for practical implications.

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10 citations in Web of Science®
14 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2004
Deposited On:29 Jul 2014 11:12
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 17:59
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0191-8869
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2003.11.013

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