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Overcoming Procrastination: The Effect of Implementation Intentions1


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    Shane Gregory Owens is associate director of Psychological Services at Farmingdale State College and an assistant professor at St. John's University. Christine Bowman is now a graduate student at Fordham University. This paper is based on the second author's honors thesis research, which was supervised by the third author.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Shane Gregory Owens, 283 Commack Road, Suite LL 2, Commack, NY 11725. E-mail:


A hypothesized solution for procrastination is the formation of an implementation intention (Van Eerde, 2000). University students (N = 152) were assessed using the Aitken Procrastination Inventory (Aitken, 1982) and were asked to report to an experiment. Half of the participants formed implementation intentions to attend. An odds ratio indicated that participants who formed implementation intentions were nearly 8 times more likely to keep their appointments than those who did not. Low procrastinators reported more often for the experiment than did high procrastinators (Low = 49.4%; High = 30.1%), χ2(1, N = 152) = 5.84, p < .016. The interaction between implementation intentions and procrastination was not significant, χ2(1, N = 152) = 0.28, p < .60.

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