Institute of Art Design + Technology
Dún Laoghaire

Owen Cooney 

BSc [Hons] Applied Psychology

My name is Owen Cooney and I have recently completed my degree in Applied Psychology (BSc) in Dun Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology (IADT). The past four years have captured my interest and have greatly educated me on the human mind, among many other things, in a practical manner. I firmly believe that this degree will serve me well in future endeavours and will be a springboard for success in my career.

Project Overview

Procrastination is a common behaviour which can be defined as the intentional delay in engaging in a task, despite being aware of the negative consequences which will follow and which can be linked to both subjective discomfort and frustration intolerance. A distinction has been drawn between active and passive procrastination, the former referring to the conscious decision to delay a task so that it will be completed under the manageable pressure of an imminent deadline, while the latter involves an unintentional delay despite acknowledging the need to start earlier. In an academic context, procrastination involves deliberately postponing the starting or finishing of important tasks, including assignments or group project work. The present study examined the possible differences between first and fourth year third level students and between males and females, in Academic Procrastination (AP), Psychological Flexibility (PF) and Grit and the relationships among these variables.

Project Description

Academic Procrastination (AP) has been previously shown to be a common problem among college students which can undermine academic achievement and individual well-being. The present study examined AP, Psychological Flexibility (PF) and Grit in a sample of first year and fourth year Irish third level college students (n = 73) who completed questionnaires online. Participants were recruited using convenience and snowballing sampling methods. There were non-significant differences between 1st and 4th year students on measures of AP, PF and Grit. However, male students scored significantly higher on PF and Grit than females. Higher levels of AP were significantly associated with lower levels of PF and Grit and higher levels of Grit were associated with higher levels of PF. The implications of these findings are discussed particularly with regard to appropriate interventions within academic settings and suggestions are made for further research.

Project Findings

This research examined AP, PF and Grit in a sample of Irish college students. While there were no significant differences between 1st and 4th year students on any of these variables, male students reported significantly higher levels of PF and Grit than females. Students with higher self-ratings of PF and Grit had lower levels of AP. These results suggest that an intervention to improve PF and Grit could help to manage AP. This study provides useful, additional insights into our understanding of AP and is worthy of further examination in a larger sample of students using a wider range of measures to provide a greater evidence base to guide appropriate intervention strategies for students.