The Evaluation of the Major Characteristics and Aspects of the Procrastination in the Framework of Psychological Counseling and Guidance

By Balkis, Murat; Duru, Erdinç | Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri, January 2007 | Go to article overview

The Evaluation of the Major Characteristics and Aspects of the Procrastination in the Framework of Psychological Counseling and Guidance


Balkis, Murat, Duru, Erdinç, Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri


Abstract

It is important to understand causes and consequences of procrastination that is appeared common among general and academic population. Procrastination affects people in various domains of life such as academic, professional, social relationships, and finance management. A person with high procrastination may lose his/her work, drop out from school, or may endanger his/her marital life. Similarly, High procrastinators might increasingly experience psychological distress related to lack of sense of personal control, self-worth and lack of sense of self-perceived personal ability as deadlines approach. The purpose of this study presents theoretical and conceptual frames of procrastination that is an important variable of individual difference and common in general and academic population.

Key Words

Procrastination, Conceptual Framework, Psychological Counseling.

Procrastination is a phenomenon in which a person neglects to attend to a necessary responsibility, such as a task or decision, in a timely fashion, often despite their good intentions or inevitable negative and unpleasant consequences. It is not unusual for people to procrastinate occasionally, but for some, procrastination is a chronic problem that causes considerable psychological discomfort and distress. Procrastination is especially common in the general and academic populations. Ellis and Knaus (1977) point out that 95% of American college students procrastinate. In Solomon and Rothblum's (1984) survey, 46% of students reported that they procrastinate on academic tasks at least half of the time. Harriott and Ferrari (1996) refer to procrastination as one of the least understood minor human miseries, affecting 15-25% of the population during their lifetime.

Procrastination is pervasive, affecting many facets of life. Milgram, Batori, and Mowrer (1993) identify five categories of procrastination; (i) life routine procrastination, (ii) decisional procrastination, (iii) neurotic procrastination, (iv) compulsive procrastination, and (v) academic procrastination.

Each theory related procrastination tends to address one side of procrastination problem and not the others. For example, behavioral perspective used to in the reinforcement theory has been the prevailing explanation of procrastination under the behavioral paradigm. According to the tenets of behaviorism, procrastination can be explained in terms of incentives students have for putting off work and the absence of incentives for effort that contributes to goal attainment (Briody, 1980).

Within the psychology literature, earliest theories of procrastination came from the psychodynamic tradition, a school of psychology that emphasizes childhood experiences as an influential factor in adult personality, unconscious mental process as influences on everyday behavior, and internal conflict as an underlying root of most behavior (Matlin, 1995). As such, psychodynamic literature primarily characterizes procrastination as a problematic behavioral manifestation of underlying internal psychic drama, often involving feelings about and towards one's family.

Based on their extensive clinical experience working with procrastinators, Ellis and Knaus (1977) emphasized that the irrational nature of procrastination and the ability of the procrastinators to actively identify, dispute and restructure their irrational beliefs, self defeating cognitions to bring about desired behavioral and emotional chances. Although they have defined procrastination in technical sense as "putting off something until a future time-postponing or deferring action on something you have decided to do"( p.7).

Ellis and Knaus (1977) characterized procrastination as resulting from three basic and, often overlapping causes: self- downing (negative and disparaging self talk), low frustration tolerance, and hostility. These three causes are viewed as manifestations of a cognitive style that involves unrealistic views about the self, others and the world. …

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