Happy Tax Day! Prof Sheds Light on Chronic Procrastination

15 Apr

taxes_250x2512So if you’re anything like, er, some people (certainly not anyone on the Demon Tracks staff!) you’ve waited until the absolute last minute to file your taxes. In fact, some people (again, not anyone I know) may have had to take some time off of lunch to mail off their forms today.

According to DePaul psychology professor Joseph R Ferrari, who studies the causes and effects of procrastination, we – I mean, those people – are not alone. In an article originally published by the Chicago Sun Times, Ferarri notes:

Approximately 20 percent of the general population of men and women classifies themselves as chronic procrastinators. Who are these people? They are the ones who delay purchasing concert or sporting event tickets until only the last rows behind the columns are left; they usually wait until the gas gauge hits “E” to fill up their cars; they usually pay their bills only after the third warning.

Everyone probably knows at least one chronic procrastinator. (Hint: they’re the ones who never RSVP for an event until after the deadline.) Without these people, Hallmark would likely have to discontinue its “belated birthday” greetings card line.

Surprisingly, the percentage of procrastinators was remarkably consistent across a broad range of societies. According to a 2007 international study I helped conduct in the United States, England, Australia, Spain, Peru and Venezuela, the numbers were similar.

So, take heart that there is a global community of procrastinators waiting to do something at the last minute right now.

Happy tax day procrastinators, and good luck tonight!

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