Academic journal article North American Journal of Psychology

Factor Structure of a Japanese Version of the Adult Inventory of Procrastination Scale: Delay Is Not Culture Specific

Academic journal article North American Journal of Psychology

Factor Structure of a Japanese Version of the Adult Inventory of Procrastination Scale: Delay Is Not Culture Specific

Article excerpt

For many adults the difficulty of starting or finishing tasks on time has become a common problem. In fact, 20-25% of people self-identified as chronic procrastinators (Ferrari, 2010). The Adult Inventory of Procrastination Scale is a well-known psychometric inventory that measures individuals' behavioral tendency to delay either beginning or completing tasks (AIP; 15 items; McCown & Johnson, 1995; see Ferrari, et al. 1995). Previous research using the AIP examined delays in either European (Anglo, Spanish, and Italian) or Middle East Asian (Turkish) cultures but not much in South Asian countries. The present study explored the factorial structure of the AIP scale within Japanese culture. We also performed analyses to see whether demographic variables and cultural constructs affected AIP scores.

Procrastination behaviors were investigated in many countries (Ferrari, Diaz-Morales, O'Callaghan, Diaz, & Argumedo, 2007; Steel, 2007; Ferrari, Johnson, & McCown, 1995;); however, most studies were conducted in individualistic countries. Approximately 70% of the world population is collectivist when culture is divided into two categories: individualism and collectivism (Triandis, 1995). The constructs of individualism and collectivism are related to health, social behavior, and social phenomena (Singelis, Triandis, Bhawuk, & Gelfand, 1995). In collectivistic cultures, people emphasize harmony and prefer interdependent relationships (Hofstede, 1994; Markus & Kitayama, 1991b; Triandis, 1995). If an individual delays doing things, it could be a burden on others. To prevent others from being troubled, one must act or decide quickly. On the contrary, people in individualistic cultures are more likely to be self-centered and emphasize their individual goals, success or achievements at work or private wealth (Hoecklin, 1995; Hofstede, 1994). Triandis (1995) pointed out that people may be high or low on both, or high in one and low in the other. For instance, U.S. individualism is not the same as Swedish individualism (Triandis & Gelfand, 1998). There are four main constructs of culture (Singelis et al., 1995; Triandis, 1995). They are Horizontal Collectivism (interdependent/same), Vertical Collectivism (interdependent/different), Horizontal Individualism (independent/same), and Vertical Individualism (independent/different). In both individualist and collectivist cultures, inequality is acceptable and rank has its privileges in the vertical dimension.

On the other hand, people are expected to be similar on most attributes, especially on status in the horizontal dimension (Triandis, 1995). More specifically, Horizontal Collectivism (H-C) describes the conception of the self as a part of the in-group and seeing all members of the in-group as the same and equality is emphasized (Triandis, 1995). The Israeli kibbutz (Erez & Earley, 1987, as cited in Shavitt, Torelli, & Riemer, 2011) historically demonstrates the horizontal-collectivist culture. The H-C people view themselves as being similar to others and lay emphasis on common goals in a group. They tend to see themselves as a part of the group. Therefore, the self is interdependent and being independent is important (Shavitt, Torelli, & Riemer, 2011; Triandis, 1995).

Vertical Collectivism (V-C) describes the conception of the self as a part of an in-group and accepting inequalities within the in-group (Triandis, 1995). In vertical-collectivist cultures such as Korea, Japan, and India, people lay emphasis on honor and benefits of the in-group and are willing to comply with authorities and sacrifice their personal goals (Shavitt, Torelli, & Riemer, 2011). They think the self is different from the self of interdependent and the self of others. Serving for the in-group is so important that sacrificing and inequality is accepted (Triandis, 1995).

Horizontal Individualism (H-I) describes the conception of an autonomous individual and equality is stressed (Triandis, 1995). …

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