A Brief Survey and Analysis on Procrastination Among Undergrads

Topics: Procrastination, Peer group, Productivity Pages: 8 (2141 words) Published: March 24, 2012

A Brief Survey and Analysis on Procrastination among Undergrads

Zhang Zitong
School of Transportation, Tongji University

Procrastination is a common phenomenon among undergrad students, especially for those who have just escaped from the strict control of teachers and parents into a university full of temptations. It is very easy to fall behind schedule and find the deadline looming.

Aimed to further understand procrastination among undergrad students, this article concludes and analyzes several typical reasons for students’ procrastination: reluctance with task, too much distraction, poor self-control, and perfectionism. There are also some fairly complex psychological reasons deriving from their procrastination and related to the 4 main reasons mentioned above. The sense of achievement after finishing everything in a rush before deadline, the wrong reward that is intended to stimulate self-discipline but leads to endless entertaining or the vicious circle of low self-esteem created by failure to complete tasks all add to students’ procrastination. We then specially discuss the peer influence on students’ procrastination from different aspects. Peer competition, peer reference and peer pressure are the three major types of peer influence on students’ procrastination, which may either help get rid of or worsen their procrastination.

We therefore recommend students try to solve their procrastination by imposing external control, properly rewarding concentration, actively avoiding distraction and having better time management. We further suggest it can be very helpful to choose the right peer and maximize the influence to help students solve their procrastination.

Table of Contents







In this survey, we developed a set of questions asking students in the unit of a dormitory. We asked individual students to assess their degree of procrastination, the specific occasions when they have significant sign of procrastination and their difficulties in solving the problem. We then asked them to think about one of two occasions when they were highly productive in order to see and compare what serves for and against their procrastination.

Then, choosing the dormitory as a whole sample, we asked students to name one of them who is most productive generally, and asked them if they’ve noticed the difference and invited them to figure out the reason for this difference in productivity.

In this way, we have managed to attain a number of individual samples to analyze their procrastination as well as group samples from which we may conclude the peer influences in this group of students. Results

Based on the various results of individual survey, we have selected and categorized several typical cases presented in the form of case study as follows.

Case 1: Procrastination with Trivial Things

In one of the dormitory we carried out the survey, a student lost his key but just refused to get another one. Instead, he phones his roommates to open the door for him when he can’t enter, causing much trouble to his roommates. Another student we surveyed was said to have kept his dirty cloths for ages and not want to wash them simply because of the cold weather.

Everyone may be reluctant with specific tasks for various reasons, especially boring and time-consuming work such as laundry.

Case 2: A Whole Night in Dormitory without Finishing Homework

Many of the students we surveyed mentioned their low-productivity in the dormitory. Often is the case when students find the clock ticks time away without awareness of what they have just done.

In this case, distraction in dormitories plays an important role in students’ procrastination. With roommates playing games, listening to music or simply just walking around, it calls for great effort to stay focused. And it is even worse when there...

References: Dan Ariely1 & Klaus Wertenbroch2. PROCRASTINATION, DEADLINES, AND PERFORMANCE: Self-Control by Precommitment. PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE, VOL. 13, NO. 3, MAY 2002.
Jane B. Burka & Lenora M. Yuen. PROCRASTINATION – Why You Do It, What to Do About It NOW.
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