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What’s Your Hurry?
Many of us procrastinate constantly. For example, my last “monthly” post was four months ago. The myriad costs ofprocrastination, to both individuals and organizations, have been documented extensively. But interesting new research by David Rosenbaum, Lanyun Gong, and Cory Potts suggests that there may be instances in which people engage in pre-crastination, which the authors define as “the tendency to complete, or at least begin, tasks as soon as possible, even at the expense of extra physical effort.”
In their forthcoming article in Psychological Science, the authors document this phenomenon through a series of experiments in which participants must choose which of two buckets to carry to the end of an alley. In most experiments, each bucket contained the same amount of weight—for example, seven pounds of pennies. Critically, though, one bucket was positioned closer to the participant (the “near bucket”), and the other farther from the participant and closer to the end of the alley (the “far bucket”). Since participants needed to make it to the end of the same alley regardless of which bucket they carried, one might expect them to choose to carry the far bucket, to minimize the total effort they had to exert, and delay when they would have to start exerting effort.
That wasn’t the case.
The authors found that participants tended to select the near bucket—and the closer the near bucket was to them, the more likely they were to select it.
Why were participants so eager to work harder than they needed to? Continue reading here: What’s Your Hurry? | Psychology Today.