I could do it now, but I'd rather (forget to) do it later: Examining links between procrastination and prospective memory failures

Sascha Zuber*, Nicola Ballhausen, Maximilian Haas, Stéphanie Cauvin, Chloé Da Silva Coelho, Anne-Sophie Daviet, Andreas Ihle, Matthias Kliegel

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Prospective memory (PM) represents the ability to remember to perform planned actions after a certain delay. As previous studies suggest that even brief task-delays can negatively affect PM performance, the current study set out to examine whether procrastination (intentionally delaying task execution despite possible negative consequences) may represent a factor contributing to PM failures. Specifically, we assessed procrastination (via a standardized questionnaire as well as an objective behavioral measure) and PM failures (via a naturalistic PM task) in 92 young adults. Results show that participants' self-reports as well as their actual procrastination behavior predicted the number of PM failures, corroborating the impact of procrastination on PM. Subsequent cluster analyses suggest three distinct procrastination profiles (non-procrastinators, conscious procrastinators and unconscious procrastinators), providing new conceptual insights into different mechanisms of how procrastinating may lead to forgetting to perform planned tasks.

Keywords

  • AGE
  • BEHAVIOR
  • DELAY
  • EXECUTE
  • IMPACT
  • IMPLEMENTATION INTENTIONS
  • OLDER-ADULTS
  • PARADOX
  • PERFORMANCE
  • VALIDATION

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