Big 5 Personality Traits and Self-Efficacy as Determinants of Procrastination

Big 5 Personality Traits and Self-Efficacy as Determinants of Procrastination

With decades of research, it is now fairly established and accepted that there are five different exclusive behavioral traits that describe a personality. These five traits are called Big 5 or OCEAN/CANOE (Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, Neuroticism). Each of these factors represents a range between two extremes, for example, extraversion ranges from extreme introversion to extreme extraversion.

Within the context of procrastination, neuroticism and conscientiousness are the two factors that are intuitively expected to be very important in understanding the vulnerability of an individual to be prone to chronic procrastination. Researchers at the Department of Psychology, State University of Semarang, have conducted a study to understand the relationships between academic self-efficacy, the Big Five personality traits (extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism, and openness), and academic procrastination among undergraduate students. The results showed that academic self-efficacy and the Big Five personality traits predicted academic procrastination significantly. Neuroticism and Extraversion had a positive relationship with procrastination, while conscientiousness and academic self-efficacy had a negative association with procrastination. Furthermore, the study showed that the other Big 5 traits agreeableness and openness were not related to academic procrastination, as thought earlier.

Since the Big 5 personality traits of any individual are considered not to change drastically within a short span of time, early signs of chronic procrastination can be recognized with a Big 5 personality diagnosis and can be intervened to minimize the friction for these procrastinators in their chosen paths. Also, the earlier the person becomes aware of his or her procrastination as a behavioral trait, the sooner they can start working on reducing its devastating impact on life.

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This Post Has 6 Comments

  1. Conscientiousness is about the inner compass for discipline. Some people like Matthieu Ricard just have it right.

  2. Is personality fixed for life then?

    1. No, personality is not fixed for life. Neuroplasticity is proven, but the change will take time and it is very specific to individual experiences and circumstances.

  3. Isn’t Big 5 criticized for being too fixed?

    1. Big 5 personality traits portray a reasonably accurate picture of one’s personality. It is probably the best established psychological portrayal of a personality.

  4. Taking Beswick, Rothblum, and Mann s seminal paper on academic procrastination as a starting point, we provide an updated review of academic procrastination and consolidate this knowledge with a procrastination typology. The goal of our study was to show that while the degree of procrastination is largely contingent on the trait of conscientiousness, the other four major personality traits determine how procrastination manifests. According to implications of need theory, we operationalised these four traits by the reasons students gave and the activities students pursued while procrastinating. Participants were 167 students of an undergraduate introductory psychology course. It was designed as a self-directed computerised course enabled considerable amounts of procrastination. Students filled out a Big Five Inventory and wrote a short essay detailing: (a) what reason they saw as causing them to procrastinate, and (b) what activities they pursued while procrastinating. The reasons and activities were coded according to their fit to the personality traits. Conscientiousness and its facets were the strongest correlates with procrastination. Moreover, in regression analyses, the other personality traits did not incrementally predict procrastination. However, the reasons ascribed to procrastination and the off-task activities pursued reflected the other personality traits. While conscientiousness is the core for all procrastination types, the other personality traits determine its phenomenology. Thus, the prominent understanding of a neurotic procrastinator might be misleading for research and practice. In fact, counsellors need to first address the conscientiousness core of procrastination and then match the subsequent interventions to the specific procrastination type. Effect of Cognitive-Behavioral-Theory-based Skill Training on Academic Procrastination Behaviors of University Students

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