Measuring implemental delay in procrastination: Separating onset and sustained goal striving
Scales measuring procrastination focus on different aspects of unnecessary and unwanted delay, delay in task implementation – an increased gap between intention and action – being a core characteristic. However, an inspection of existing procrastination scales reveals that the scales do not distinguish between two facets of implemental delay, onset delay, and delay related to sustained goal striving. We trace this failure to an imprecise understanding of “delay,” another core concept in procrastination. This paper discusses the relationship between onset and sustained delay in procrastination, and then describes a new scale attempting to measure these two facets of task implementation. In two studies (aggregated N = 465) we demonstrate, using exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, that although onset and sustained action procrastination measures correlate, they are still separate facets of implemental procrastination. Problems with onset delay seem to be particularly important, increasingly so in high procrastinators. Implications, as well as suggestions for further research, are discussed.