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Decisional Procrastination: Assessing Characterological and Contextual Variables around Indecision


University students (n = 75; M age = 21.4 years old) and community adults (n = 55: M age = 36.6 years old) completed self-reported measures of decisional procrastination (indecision), character (life satisfaction, meaningful life, and need for cognition), context (place attachment, sense of community, and psychological home) and “cross-over” factors relating character and context (self-identity with possessions, people/thing orientation, and clutter), to provide an ecological understanding of persons who claim indecision. Controlling for social desirability tendencies, indecision was negatively related to all character but none of the context variables. Indecision also was related to both person and thing orientation and clutter. Multiple regression analysis indicated that only need for cognition significantly predicted (negatively) indecision among character, context, and cross-over variable sets. Subjective well-being also predicted indecision with low need for cognition among cross-over variables. Taken together, decisional procrastinators reported too much clutter (stuff), interfering with a positive quality of life and related to character over context and cross-over, ecological variables.

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Authors are grateful to Trina and Angela Dao for presenting this work at the 2017 biennial Procrastination Conference in Chicago, IL.


This study was not funded by any grant.

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Correspondence to Joseph R. Ferrari.

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All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

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JR Ferrari declares that he has no conflict of interest. C Roster and M Pardo declare each that they have no conflict of interest.

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Ferrari, J.R., Crum, K.P. & Pardo, M.A. Decisional Procrastination: Assessing Characterological and Contextual Variables around Indecision. Curr Psychol 37, 436–440 (2018).

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  • Procrastination
  • Clutter
  • Possessions
  • Ecological context
  • Social relations