ISSN 2079-6617 (Print)
ISSN 2309-9828 (Online)
Ru | En
Russian Psychological Society
The Faculty of Psychology. Lomonosov Moscow State University.
Main RSS Search


Barabanshchikova Valentina V., Marusanova Galina I. (2015). Perspectives for research of the procrastination phenomenon in professional work. National Psychological Journal. 4, 130-140.


The paper describes the current state of the procrastination phenomenon in professional work, reviews the basic unexplored aspects in this area, and highlights the promising areas of scientific analysis. The survey of the existing literature periodization shows that the quantity of researches devoted to procrastination is growing exponentially every year. In spite of a pronounced research interest in this construct, in native and foreign psychological science procrastination phenomenon in the professional work is represented insufficiently. Firstly, there is no common and generally accepted definition of procrastination (Corkin, Yu, Lindt, 2011; Steel, 2010; Krause, Freund, 2014), that suggests that there is a deep terminological crisis in this area. Secondly, the characteristic of delaying the implementation of the elements of workload is represented only by the example of a fairly narrow range of professional activities, which makes it relevant to study the specificity of the differentiated functioning of the phenomenon on the material of a wide range of professions. Thirdly, in psychology there are no information about the peculiarities of the so-called “active” procrastination manifestations in professional activity, which is the tendency of conscious assignments delaying to achieve the optimum final result (Chu, Choi, 2005; Choi, Moran, 2009). Fourthly, there is an acute shortage of standardized psychodiagnostic tools to evaluate this phenomenon in work (most of the existing methods have been tested on samples of students and are aimed at identifying academic procrastination). In the fifth place, there are no science-based allocation of methods of coping with destructive manifestations of the psychological strategy of the job functions postponement in a professional work.

Received: 11/02/2015
Accepted: 11/27/2015
Pages: 130-140
DOI: 10.11621/npj.2015.0413

Sections: Psychology of professional activity;

PDF: /pdf/npj-no20-2015/npj_no20_2015_130-140.pdf

Keywords: procrastination; “active” procrastination; “passive” procrastination; academic procrastination;

Available Online 31.12.2015

Table 1. Statistical summary of scientific publications on the phenomenon of procrastination, as of 1985-2015 by decade

Time period

before 1985

1985 - 1995

1995 - 2005

2005 - 2015

Number of Publications, %





Table 2. Statistical summary of scientific publications on the phenomenon of procrastination, as of 1985-2015 by lustrum

Time period








Number of Publications, %








Table 3. Research features of procrastination phenomenon in the labour force

Job Position


Research Drection, Bibliographic Reference

Sphere of Education


Teachers of High School

Features and causes of procrastination in pedagogical activity (Seo, 2012)

Procrastination relationship with occupational stress (Van Wyk, 2004)

The relationship of procrastination, occupational stress (as an intermediate variable) and job satisfaction (Mohsin, Ayub, 2014)

Managerial Personnel

School Principal and School Deputy Principal

The relationship between procrastination and decision-making styles (Ugurlu, 2013)

College Administration (Management)

The relationship of behavioural tendencies to procrastination with self-esteem and a tendency to perfectionism (Ying, 2012)

Other Professional Spheres


IT-specialists, members of virtual project teams

The relationship between the propensity for procrastination and the level of severity of occupational stress (Barabanshhikova, Kaminskaja, 2013)


Managers and heads of IT- companies and financial institutions

The degree of procrastination in reference with the time perspective of personality types (Parsons, Soucie, 1988)

Administration of the governing bodies of the physical culture and sport

Features of functioning of procrastination phenomenon in connection with the specific management activities (Gupta, Hershey, Gaur, 2012)

Table 4. Comparative characteristic features of «passive» and «active» procrastination

"Passive" procrastination

"Active" procrastination

The initial absence of intention to delay the execution of affairs

Awareness of capabilities of timely treatment to the assignment

Delaying the solution of problems due to the inability to make quick decisions

Conscious postponement of doing things with a view to focusing on the most important and priority

Table 5. Comparative characteristics of the psychological features of people who are prone to the «passive» or «active» procrastination, and individuals who do not display a tendency to procrastination

"Passive" Procrastinator

"Active" Procrastinator


Time Control

Shallow focus of spending time;The low level of interim control

The targeted time management; The high level of temporary control


High value of personal level of control time

Low Value of personal level of control time

High level of time structuring

Low level of time structuring


Relatively low levels of self-efficacy assessment

High levels of self-efficacy assessment

Motivational Orientation

Severe expression of extrinsic motivation activities


Low expression of extrinsic motivation activities

Coping Strategies with Sress

Low utilization of coping strategies, stress management, goal-oriented

Using the productive coping goal- oriented and stress management strategies

Using avoidance strategies in stressful situations

Low degree of using avoidance strategies in stressful situations

Individual Characteristics

Low levels of satisfaction with life; Expressing feelings of stress and depression; Low GPA

The high level of satisfaction with life; Low levels of depression and stress; High GPA

Table 6. Ordering the techniques aimed at diagnosing of procrastination

Designation method

Author Board

Year of Publication

Sample Characteristics

Original Techniques and Methods

Aitken Procrastination Inventory (API)

M.E. Aitken


College Students

Procrastination Log - Behavior

F.G. Lopez, C.A. Wambach


University Students

Procrastination Assessment Scale - Student (PASS)

L.J. Solomon, E.D. Rothblum


College Students

Procrastination Self-Statement Inventory (PSSI)

P.R. Grecco


University Students

General Procrastination Scale (GPS)

C. Lay


College Students

Adult Inventory of Procrastination (AIP)

W.G. McCown, J.L. Johnson


University Students

Test Procrastination Questionnaire (TPQ)

P. Kalechstein, D. Hocevar, J.W. Zimmer, M. Kalechstein


University Students

Tuckman Procrastination Scale (TPS)

B.W. Tuckman


College Students

Academic Procrastination State Inventory (APSI)

H.C. Schouwenburg


University Students

Academic Procrastination Scale (APS)

N. Milgram, Y. Toubiana


Adolescents (Age: 13-16 years) and their parents *

Active Procrastination Scale (APS)

J.N. Choi, S.V. Moran


University Students

Pure Procrastination Scale (PPS)

P. Steel


Adolescents (Mean age - 14 years)

The Russian-Language Adaptation

General Procrastination Scale (GPS)

C. Lay (Adaptation by О.С. Windeker, M.V. Ostanina)

1986 (2014)

University Students

Procrastination Assessment Scale - Student (PASS)

L.J. Solomon, E.D. Rothblum (Adaptation by M.V. Zvereva)

1984 (2015)

Females and males, age: 18-25 years, education is not lower than complete secondary education

* Parents of participants were offered to recall possible procrastination events from their childhood

Fig. 1. Specific features of procrastination manifestations in various activities


Andreasen N.C. Negative symptoms in schizophrenia. Definition and reliability // Arch Gen Psychiatry. – 1982. – V.39 (7). – P. 784-788.

Barabanshchikova V.V., Kaminskaya E.O. (2013). Procrastination phenomenon in virtual project team members. National Psychological Journal [Natsional’nyy psikhologicheskiy zhurnal], 2, 43-51.

Barabanshchikova V.V., Ostanina M.V., Klimova O.A. (2015). Procrastination phenomenon in individual and team sports athletes’ activity. National Psychological Journal Journal [Natsional’nyy psikhologicheskiy zhurnal], 3, 91-104.

Choi J.N., Moran S.V. Why not procrastinate? Development and validation of a new active procrastination scale // The Journal of Social Psychology. – 2009. – V. 149 (2). – P. 195-212.

Chu A.H.C., Choi J.N. Rethinking procrastination: Positive effects of «active» procrastination behavior on attitudes and performance // The Journal of Social Psychology. – 2005. – V. 145 (3). – P. 245-264.

Corkin D.M., Yu S.L., Lindt S.F. Comparing active delay and procrastination from a self-regulated learning perspective // Learning and Individual Differences. – 2011. – V. 21 (5). – P. 602-606.

Demeter D.V., Davis S.E. Procrastination as a tool: exploring unconventional components of academic success // Creative Education. – 2013. – V.4 (7). – P. 144-149.

Ivannikov, V. A. (2015) A generation of activity and the problem of motivation. Moscow University Psychology Bulletin. Series 14. Psychology, 2, 15-22

Ferrari J.R., Johnson J.L., McCown W.G. Procrastination and task avoidance: Theory, research, and treatment. – New York: Plenum Press, 1995. – 245 p.

Ferrari J.R., O’Callaghan J., Newbegin I. (2005) Prevalence of procrastination in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia: arousal and avoidance delays among adults // The American Journal of Psychology. – 1995. – 7 (1). – 1-6.

Ferrari J.R., Pychyl T.A. Procrastination: Current Issues and New Directions. [Special Issue] // Journal of Social Behavior and Personality. – 2000. – V.15 (5). – P. 197-202.

Flett G.L., Blankstein K.R., Hewitt P.L., Koledin S. Components of perfectionism and procrastination in college students // Social Behavior and Personality. – 1992. – V. 20 (2). – P. 85-94.

Gupta R., Hershey D.A., Gaur J. Time Perspective and Procrastination in the Workplace: An Empirical Investigation // Current Psychology. – 2012. – V. 31 (2). – P. 195-211.

Gura T. I’ll Do It Tomorrow // Scientific American Mind. – 2008. – V. 19. – P. 27-33.

Hammer C.A., Ferrari J.R. Differential incidence of procrastination between blue and white-collar workers // Current Psychology. – 2002. – V. 21 (4). – P. 333-338.

Harriott J., Ferrari J.R. Prevalence of procrastination among samples of adults // Psychological Reports. – 1996. – 78 (2). – P. 611-616.

Jur’ev, S.V. (2012) Autsorsing kak element sovremennykh ekonomicheskikh otnosheniy v RF: monografiya [Outsourcing as an element of modern economic relations in Russian Federation: monograph]. St. Petersburg, Sankt-Peterburgskiy gosudrstvennyy unsitut servisa i ekonomiki.

Klimov, E.A. (1988) Vvedenie v psikhologiyu truda [Introduction to work psychology]. Moscow, MGU.

Krause K., Freund A.M. Delay or procrastination: A comparison of self-report and behavioral measures of procrastination and their impact on affective well-being // Personality and Individual Differences. – 2014. – V. 63. – P. 75-80.

Lee D. Differences in Passive/Active Procrastination, Happiness, and Depression by the Clusters of Perfectionism in College Students // Korea Journal of Counseling. – 2013. – V. 14 (2). – P. 857-875.

L’vov, D.S., & Klejner, G.B. (Ed.) (2007) Rossiya v globaliziruyushchemsya mire: modernizatsiya rossiyskoy ekonomiki [Russia in the globalized world: the modernization of the Russian economy]. Moscow, Nauka.  

Milgram N.A. El retraso: Una enfermedad de los tiempos modernos [Procrastination: A malady of modern time] // Boletin de Psicologia (Valencia). – 1992. – V. 35. – P. 83-102.

Milgram N.A., Batory G., Mowrer D. Correlates of academic procrastination // Journal of School Psychology. – 1993. – V. 31 (4). – P. 487-500.

Milgram N.N., Tenne R. Personality correlates of decisional and task avoidant procrastination // European Journal of Personality. – 2000. – V. 14 (2). – P. 141-156.

Mohsin F.Z., Ayub N. The relationship between procrastination, delay of gratification, and job satisfaction among high school teachers // Japanese Psychological Research. – 2014. – V. 56 (3). – P. 224-234.

Noskova, О. G. (2014) General psychological theory of activity and problems of the work-psychology. Moscow University Psychology Bulletin. Series 14. Psychology, 3, 104-121

Parsons C.A., Soucie D. Perceptions of the causes of procrastination by sports administrators // Journal of Sport Management. – 1988. – V. 2 (2). – P. 129- 139.

Procee R., Kamphorst B., Van Wissen A., Meyer J.J. A formal model of procrastination // BNAIC 2013: Proceedings of the 25th Benelux Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Delft, The Netherlands. – November 7-8. – 2013. – P. 152-159.

Prohorov, A.P. (2002) Russkaya model’ upravleniya [Russian management model]. Moscow, ZAO “Zhurnal Ekspert”.

Pychyl T. A., Flett G. L. Procrastination and self-regulatory failure: An introduction to the special issue // Journal of Rational-Emotive and Cognitive- Behavior Therapy. – 2012. – V. 30 (4). – P. 203-212.

Rebetez M.M.L., Rochat L., Van der Linden M. Cognitive, emotional, and motivational factors related to procrastination: A cluster analytic approach // Personality and Individual Differences. – 2005. – V. 76. – P. 1-6.

Schowuenburg H.C., Lay C., Pychyl T.A., Ferrari J.R. Counseling the procrastinator in academic settings. – Washington, DC: American Psychological Association, 2004. – 250 p.

Seo E.H. Teacher’s procrastination and its reasons // Korean Journal of Teacher Education. – 2012. – V. 28 (2). – P. 189-201.

Steel P. The nature of procrastination: A meta-analytic and theoretical review of quintessential self-regulatory failure // Psychological Bulletin. – 2007. – V. 133 (1). – P. 65-94.

Steel P. Arousal, avoidant and decisional procrastinators: Do they exist? // Personality and Individual Differences. – 2010. – V. 48 (8). – P. 926-934.

Steel P. The procrastination equation: How to stop putting things off and start getting stuff done. – New York: HarperCollins, 2012. – 352 p.

Ugurlu C.T. Effects of Decision-Making Styles of School Administrators on General Procrastination Behaviors // Eurasian Journal of Educational Research. – 2013. – V. 13 (51). – P. 253-272.

Ul’rih, D. (2007) Effektivnoe upravlenie personalom. Novaja rol’ HR-menedzhera v organizacii [Effective Personnel Management. The new role of HR manager in organization]. Moscow, OOO «ID “Vil’yams”.

Van Wyk L. The relationship between procrastination and stress in the life of the high school teachers: unpublished master thesis [University of Pretoria] – Pretoria, 2004. – 98 p.

Wilson B. A., Nguyen T. D. Belonging to tomorrow: An overview of Procrastination // International Journal of Psychological Studies. – 2012. – V. 4 (1). – P. 211-217.

Ying R.Q. Core Self-Evaluations’ Relationship with Procrastination: The Perfectionism as a Mediator // 2nd International Symposium on Public Human Resource Management, Hangzhou, China. – October 26-28, 2012. – P. 74-79.

For citing this article:

Barabanshchikova Valentina V., Marusanova Galina I. (2015). Perspectives for research of the procrastination phenomenon in professional work. National Psychological Journal. 4, 130-140.

About Editorial Board Volumes Authors For Authors Indexing Contacts

National Psychological Journal, 2006 - 2020