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Date of Award
Thesis-ISU Access Only
Master of Science (MS)
Department of Psychology
Dawn M. McBride
The pre-crastination effect is the finding that individuals complete actions earlier to “get it out of the way” (Rosenbaum, Gong, & Potts, 2014). In the current study, I tested pre-crastination with a prospective memory paradigm to determine if this phenomenon generalizes to prospective memory tasks that can be completed at a time chosen by the participant. Based on Rosenbaum et al.’s (2014) results that pre-crastination decreased when the task to be completed was more effortful, I investigated whether difficulty of the prospective memory task affected when participants chose to complete the task. This hypothesis was partially supported, with more pre-crastination when participants completed the easy prospective memory task compared to the difficult prospective memory task, but with an order effect interaction driving this difference. I expected participants’ reaction times to be shorter when completing the easy prospective memory task, and this hypothesis was also partially supported, with an interaction or order effect driving this significant difference. I also measured individual differences in impulsivity by having participants complete the Barratt Impulsiveness Scale 11 (Patton, Stanford, & Barratt, 1995) to determine if impulsivity affected pre-crastination tendencies. No significant correlations were found with the impulsivity scores, so this hypothesis was not supported.
VonderHaar, Rachel L., "Pre -crastination Effects in a Prospective Memory Task: Choosing When To Complete a Difficult Task" (2018). Theses and Dissertations. 895.