Faculty Research and Creative Activity

Document Type


Publication Date

January 2000


For five consecutive days, participants listed daily tasks they intended to complete. Recall of listed tasks served as the primary dependent variable. Characteristics of the task, including whether or not the task was actually completed, did not, in general, predict recall. The one exception was that the rated importance of the task to one's family did increase the likelihood of recall. Individual differences in avoidant procrastination were negatively related to the likelihood of recalling listed tasks. Avoidant procrastination also was related (positively) to false positive rates, the degree to which individuals "recalled" tasks that they had not listed the previous day. These findings suggest that procrastinators may have general cognitive processing strategies that are different from non-procrastinators. However, further research is needed to explore the information processing abilities of people who delay completing tasks.

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Psychology Commons