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Project title: Understanding and Addressing the Temporal Mood-Regulation Dynamics of Procrastination: Cognitive and neurobiological mechanisms

Primary supervisor: Dr Fuschia Sirois

Co-supervisor/s: Dr Liat Levita

Project description: Recent theory and accumulating evidence portrays procrastination as reflecting an irrational intertemporal choice to avoid aversive tasks that is motivated by poor emotional regulation of stress and negative states, and a disconnection from future self. Cognitive shifts towards immediate rather than distal concerns as a result of neural-physiological activation that occurs when people are feeling stressed or anxious about a task are posited to contribute to procrastination and an ongoing pattern of avoidant coping.
This PhD project aims to advance knowledge about the temporal mood-regulation dynamics involved in procrastination by investigating the neurobiological mechanisms underlying processes of emotion mis-regulation in the avoidance of intended tasks. The involvement of positive and negative emotions in the promotion and prevention of procrastination will be examined using EEG, and psychophysiological measures of emotional reactivity, e.g., electrodermal response (EDA), heart rate, and facial EMG. The project will also examine the potential effects of developing a more compassionate and empathetic view of the present and future selves for reducing procrastination across important life domains.
Suggested readings:
Sirois, F. M., & Pychyl. T. A. (2013). Procrastination and the priority of short-term mood regulation: Consequences for future self. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 7 (2), 115127.
Sirois, F. M. (2014). Procrastination and stress: Exploring the role of self-compassion. Self and Identity, 13 (2), 128-145.
Sirois, F. M. (2014). Out of sight, out of time? A meta-analytic investigation of procrastination and time perspective. European Journal of Personality, 28, 511520 (IF = 3.99).

Formal enquiries should be addressed to: Dr Fuschia Sirois (f.sirois@sheffield.ac.uk) or Dr Liat Levita (l.levita@sheffield.ac.uk)

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