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Procrastination Is In The Genes, Study Finds

Update Date: Apr 09, 2014 10:54 AM EDT
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Researchers have identified a genetic link between procrastination and impulsivity that may have a similar evolutionary origin. 

Researchers said from an evolutionary standpoint, impulsivity made sense but procrastination would seem to make less sense and probably might have emerged more recently in human history.

"Everyone procrastinates at least sometimes, but we wanted to explore why some people procrastinate more than others and why procrastinators seem more likely to make rash actions and act without thinking," said study author Daniel Gustavson, a psychological scientist at the University of Colorado, Boulder, in a statement provided by the Association for Psychological Science.

"Answering why that's the case would give us some interesting insights into what procrastination is, why it occurs, and how to minimize it."

Modern humans like us have many long-term goals that we strive to achieve. But sometimes when we are impulsive and distracted we end up procrastinating. Considering the two traits in context it sounds quite reasonable that people who procrastinate often are also highly impulsive.

In spite of numerous studies so far in similar context, it is still unclear what cognitive, biological and environmental factors are responsible for the existing link.

Researchers added that in their research they found procrastination to be an evolutionary byproduct of impulsivity. 

"Learning more about the underpinnings of procrastination may help develop interventions to prevent it, and help us overcome our ingrained tendencies to get distracted and lose track of work," Gustavson added.

The findings of the study has been published in the journal Psychological Science.

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