Darwin was late for everything.

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I am plagued by lateness. It is one of my character flaws, and a difficult one to change. Part of the reason is because I'm not really interested in having "she was on time" as one of the eventual measurements of my success.

So I started to wonder...lateness travels hand in hand with procrastination. Is there an evolutionary benefit to procrastination? I did a bit of poking around on the intertubes. There are different kinds of procrastination 1) was to focus on the future in a negative way. This caused stress and avoidance of most activities. The 2) is indecision, which appears to be related to remembering the past and how things went wrong. This makes me think that the way to avoid procrastination is to maintain one's focus on the present.

My next question is should I become a Buddhist, a nun, or a Jedi?

Here are some readings

These papers are from the referennces portion of the paper at http://fc04.deviantart.com/fs38/f/2008/336/e/6/Evolutionary_Procrastination_by_Zeeblee.html

Diaz-Morales, J., Cohen, J. & Ferrari, J. (2008). An integrated view of personality styles related to avoidant procrastination. Personality and Individual Differences, 45, 554-558.

Diaz-Morales, J., Ferrari, J. & Cohen, J. (2008). Indecision and avoidant procrastination: The role of morningness-eveningness and time perspective in chronic delay lifestyles. The Journal of General Psychology, 135(3), 228-240.

Ferrari, J., Diaz-Morales, J., O’Callaghan, J., Diaz, K. & Argumedo, D. (2007). Frequent behavioral delay tendencies by adults: International prevalence rates of chronic procrastination. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 38, 458-465.

Ferrari, J. & Diaz-Morales, J. (2007). Procrastination: Different time orientations reflect different motives. Journal of Research in Personality, 41, 707-714.

Green, L., Price, P. & Hamburger, M. (1995). Prisoner’s dilemma and the pigeon: Control by immediate consequences. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 64, 1-17.

Howell, A. & Watson, D. (2007). Procrastination: Associations with achievement goal orientation and learning

strategies. Personality and Individual Differences, 43, 167-178.

Mazur, J. (1998). Procrastination by pigeons with fixed-interval response requirements. Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior, 69, 185-197.

Schraw, G., Wadkins, T. & Olafson, L. (2007). Doing the things we do: A grounded theory of academic procrastination. Journal of Educational Psychology, 99, 12-25.

Sirois, M. (2007). “I’ll look after my health, later”: A replication and extension of the procrastination-health model with community-dwelling adults. Personality and Individual Differences, 43, 15-26.

Steel, P. (2007). The nature of procrastination: A meta-analytic and theoretical review of quintessential self-regulatory failure. Psychological Bulletin, 133, 65-94.

1 Comment

Hmm evolutionary benefit to procrastination? I can't think of one!

Oli Hille
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