How to Beat Procrastination

Part of the se­quence: The Science of Win­ning at Life

My own be­hav­ior baf­fles me. I find my­self do­ing what I hate, and not do­ing what I re­ally want to do!

- Saint Paul (Ro­mans 7:15)

Once you’re trained in BayesCraft, it may be tempt­ing to tackle clas­sic prob­lems “from scratch” with your new Ra­tion­al­ity Pow­ers. But of­ten, it’s more effec­tive to do a bit of schol­ar­ship first and at least start from the state of our sci­en­tific knowl­edge on the sub­ject.

To­day, I want to tackle pro­cras­ti­na­tion by sum­ma­riz­ing what we know about it, and how to over­come it.

Let me be­gin with three char­ac­ter vi­gnettes...

Ed­die at­tended the sales sem­i­nar, read all the books, and re­peated the self-af­fir­ma­tions in the mir­ror this morn­ing. But he has yet to make his first sale. Re­jec­tion af­ter re­jec­tion has de­mor­al­ized him. He or­ga­nizes his desk, surfs the in­ter­net, and puts off his cold calls un­til po­ten­tial clients are leav­ing for the day.

Three blocks away, Valerie stares at a blank doc­u­ment in Microsoft Word. Her es­say as­sign­ment on mu­ni­ci­pal poli­tics, due to­mor­row, is mind-numb­ingly dull. She de­cides she needs a break, texts some friends, watches a show, and finds her­self even less mo­ti­vated to write the pa­per than be­fore. At 10pm she dives in, but the re­sult re­flects the time she put into it: it’s ter­rible.

In the next apart­ment down, Tom is ahead of the game. He got his visa, bought his plane tick­ets, and booked time off for his va­ca­tion to the Do­mini­can Repub­lic. He still needs to re­serve a ho­tel room, but that can be done any­time. Tom keeps push­ing the task for­ward a week as he has more ur­gent things to do, and then for­gets about it al­to­gether. As he’s pack­ing, he re­mem­bers to book the room, but by now there are none left by the beach. When he ar­rives, he finds his room is 10 blocks from the beach and dec­o­rated with dead mosquitos.

Ed­die, Valerie, and Tom are all pro­cras­ti­na­tors, but in differ­ent ways.1

Ed­die’s prob­lem is low ex­pec­tancy. By now, he ex­pects only failure. Ed­die has low ex­pec­tancy of suc­cess from mak­ing his next round of cold calls. Re­sults from 39 pro­cras­ti­na­tion stud­ies show that low ex­pec­tancy is a ma­jor cause of pro­cras­ti­na­tion.2 You doubt your abil­ity to fol­low through with the diet. You don’t ex­pect to get the job. You re­ally should be go­ing out and meet­ing girls and learn­ing to flirt bet­ter, but you ex­pect only re­jec­tion now, so you pro­cras­ti­nate. You have learned to be hel­pless.

Valerie’s prob­lem is that her task has low value for her. We all put off what we dis­like.3 It’s easy to meet up with your friends for drinks or start play­ing a videogame; not so easy to start do­ing your taxes. This point may be ob­vi­ous, but it’s nice to see it con­firmed in over a dozen sci­en­tific stud­ies. We put off things we don’t like to do.

But the strongest pre­dic­tor of pro­cras­ti­na­tion is Tom’s prob­lem: im­pul­sive­ness. It would have been easy for Tom to book the ho­tel in ad­vance, but he kept get­ting dis­tracted by more ur­gent or in­ter­est­ing things, and didn’t re­mem­ber to book the ho­tel un­til the last minute, which left him with a poor se­lec­tion of rooms. Dozens of stud­ies have shown that pro­cras­ti­na­tion is closely tied to im­pul­sive­ness.4

Im­pul­sive­ness fits into a broader com­po­nent of pro­cras­ti­na­tion: time. An event’s im­pact on our de­ci­sions de­creases as its tem­po­ral dis­tance from us in­creases.5 We are less mo­ti­vated by de­layed re­wards than by im­me­di­ate re­wards, and the more im­pul­sive you are, the more your mo­ti­va­tion is af­fected by such de­lays.

Ex­pec­tancy, value, de­lay, and im­pul­sive­ness are the four ma­jor com­po­nents of pro­cras­ti­na­tion. Piers Steel, a lead­ing re­searcher on pro­cras­ti­na­tion, ex­plains:

De­crease the cer­tainty or the size of a task’s re­ward—its ex­pec­tancy or its value—and you are un­likely to pur­sue its com­ple­tion with any vi­gor. In­crease the de­lay for the task’s re­ward and our sus­cep­ti­bil­ity to de­lay—im­pul­sive­ness—and mo­ti­va­tion also dips.

The Pro­cras­ti­na­tion Equation

This leaves us with “the pro­cras­ti­na­tion equa­tion”:

the procrastination equation

Though we are always learn­ing more, the pro­cras­ti­na­tion equa­tion ac­counts for ev­ery ma­jor find­ing on pro­cras­ti­na­tion, and draws upon our best cur­rent the­o­ries of mo­ti­va­tion.6

In­crease the size of a task’s re­ward (in­clud­ing both the pleas­ant­ness of do­ing the task and the value of its af­ter-effects), and your mo­ti­va­tion goes up. In­crease the per­ceived odds of get­ting the re­ward, and your mo­ti­va­tion also goes up.

You might have no­ticed that this part of the equa­tion is one of the ba­sic equa­tions of the ex­pected util­ity the­ory at the heart of eco­nomics. But one of the ma­jor crit­i­cisms of stan­dard eco­nomic the­ory was that it did not ac­count for time. For ex­am­ple, in 1991 Ge­orge Ak­er­lof pointed out that we ir­ra­tionally find pre­sent costs more salient than fu­ture costs. This led to the flow­er­ing of be­hav­ioral eco­nomics, which in­te­grates time (among other things).

Hence the de­nom­i­na­tor, which cov­ers the effect of time on our mo­ti­va­tion to do a task. The longer the de­lay be­fore we reap a task’s re­ward, the less mo­ti­vated we are to do it. And the nega­tive effect of this de­lay on our mo­ti­va­tion is am­plified by our level of im­pul­sive­ness. For highly im­pul­sive peo­ple, de­lays do even greater dam­age to their mo­ti­va­tion.

The Pro­cras­ti­na­tion Equa­tion in Action

As an ex­am­ple, con­sider the col­lege stu­dent who must write a term pa­per.7 Un­for­tu­nately for her, col­leges have cre­ated a perfect storm of pro­cras­ti­na­tion com­po­nents. First, though the value of the pa­per for her grades may be high, the more im­me­di­ate value is very low, as­sum­ing she dreads writ­ing pa­pers as much as most col­lege stu­dents do.8 More­over, her ex­pec­tancy is prob­a­bly low. Mea­sur­ing perfor­mance is hard, and any es­say re-marked by an­other pro­fes­sor may get a very differ­ent grade: a B+ es­say will get an A+ if she’s lucky, or a C+ if she’s un­lucky.9 There is also a large de­lay, since the pa­per is due at the end of the semester. If our col­lege stu­dent has an im­pul­sive per­son­al­ity, the nega­tive effect of this de­lay on her mo­ti­va­tion to write the pa­per is greatly am­plified. Writ­ing a term pa­per is gru­el­ing (low value), the re­sults are un­cer­tain (low ex­pec­tancy), and the dead­line is far away (high de­lay).

But there’s more. Col­lege dorms, and col­lege cam­puses in gen­eral, might be the most dis­tract­ing places on earth. There are always plea­sures to be had (cam­pus clubs, par­ties, re­la­tion­ships, games, events, al­co­hol) that are re­li­able, im­me­di­ate, and in­tense. No won­der that the task of writ­ing a term pa­per can’t com­pete. Th­ese po­tent dis­trac­tions am­plify the nega­tive effect of the de­lay in the task’s re­ward and the nega­tive effect of the stu­dent’s level of im­pul­sive­ness.

How to Beat Procrastination

Although much is known about the neu­ro­biol­ogy be­hind pro­cras­ti­na­tion, I won’t cover that sub­ject here.10 In­stead, let’s jump right to the solu­tions to our pro­cras­ti­na­tion prob­lem.

Once you know the pro­cras­ti­na­tion equa­tion, our gen­eral strat­egy is ob­vi­ous. Since there is usu­ally lit­tle you can do about the de­lay of a task’s re­ward, we’ll fo­cus on the three terms of the pro­cras­ti­na­tion equa­tion over which we have some con­trol. To beat pro­cras­ti­na­tion, we need to:

  1. In­crease your ex­pec­tancy of suc­cess.

  2. In­crease the task’s value (make it more pleas­ant and re­ward­ing).

  3. De­crease your im­pul­sive­ness.

You might think these things are out of your con­trol, but re­searchers have found sev­eral use­ful meth­ods for achiev­ing each of them.

Most of the ad­vice be­low is taken from the best book on pro­cras­ti­na­tion available, Piers Steel’s The Pro­cras­ti­na­tion Equa­tion, which ex­plains these meth­ods and oth­ers in more de­tail.

Op­ti­miz­ing Optimism

If you don’t think you can suc­ceed, you’ll have lit­tle mo­ti­va­tion to do the task that needs do­ing. You’ve prob­a­bly heard the ad­vice to “Be pos­i­tive!” But how? So far, re­searchers have iden­ti­fied three ma­jor tech­niques for in­creas­ing op­ti­mism: Suc­cess Spirals, Vi­car­i­ous Vic­tory, and Men­tal Con­trast­ing.

Suc­cess Spirals

One way to build your op­ti­mism for suc­cess is to make use of suc­cess spirals.11 When you achieve one challeng­ing goal af­ter an­other, your ob­vi­ously gain con­fi­dence in your abil­ity to suc­ceed. So: give your­self a se­ries of mean­ingful, challeng­ing but achiev­able goals, and then achieve them! Set your­self up for suc­cess by do­ing things you know you can suc­ceed at, again and again, to keep your con­fi­dence high.

Steel recom­mends that for starters, “it is of­ten best to have pro­cess or learn­ing goals rather than product or out­come goals. That is, the goals are ac­quiring or re­fin­ing new skills or steps (the pro­cess) rather than win­ning or get­ting the high­est score (the product).“12

Wilder­ness classes and ad­ven­ture ed­u­ca­tion (raft­ing, rock-climb­ing, camp­ing, etc.) are ex­cel­lent for this kind of thing.13 Learn a new skill, be it cook­ing or karate. Vol­un­teer for more re­spon­si­bil­ities at work or in your com­mu­nity. Push a fa­vorite hobby to the next level. The key is to achieve one goal af­ter an­other and pay at­ten­tion to your suc­cesses.14 Your brain will re­ward you with in­creased ex­pec­tancy for suc­cess, and there­fore a bet­ter abil­ity to beat pro­cras­ti­na­tion.

Vi­car­i­ous Victory

Pes­simism and op­ti­mism are both con­ta­gious.15 Wher­ever you are, you prob­a­bly have ac­cess to com­mu­nity groups that are great for fos­ter­ing pos­i­tivity: Toast­mas­ters, Ro­tary, Elks, Shriners, and other lo­cal groups. I recom­mend you visit 5-10 such groups in your area and join the best one.

You can also boost your op­ti­mism by watch­ing in­spira­tional movies, read­ing in­spira­tional bi­ogra­phies, and listen­ing to mo­ti­va­tional speak­ers.

Men­tal Contrasting

Many pop­u­lar self-help books en­courage cre­ative vi­su­al­iza­tion, the prac­tice of reg­u­larly and vividly imag­in­ing what you want to achieve: a car, a ca­reer, an achieve­ment. Sur­pris­ingly, re­search shows this method can ac­tu­ally drain your mo­ti­va­tion.16

Un­less, that is, you add a sec­ond cru­cial step: men­tal con­trast­ing. After imag­in­ing what you want to achieve, men­tally con­trast that with where you are now. Vi­su­al­ize your old, rusty car and your small pay­check. This pre­sents your cur­rent situ­a­tion as an ob­sta­cle to be over­come to achieve your dreams, and jump­starts plan­ning and effort.17

Guard­ing Against Too Much Optimism

Fi­nally, I should note that too much op­ti­mism can also be a prob­lem,18 though this is less com­mon. For ex­am­ple, too much op­ti­mism about how long a task will take may cause you to put it off un­til the last minute, which turns out to be too late. Some­thing like Rhonda Byrne’s The Se­cret may be too op­ti­mistic.

How can you guard against too much op­ti­mism? Plan for the worst but hope for the best.19 Pay at­ten­tion to how you pro­cras­ti­nate, make backup plans for failure, but then use the meth­ods in this ar­ti­cle to suc­ceed as much as pos­si­ble.

In­creas­ing Value

It’s hard to be mo­ti­vated to do some­thing that doesn’t have much value to us—or worse, is down­right un­pleas­ant. The good news is that value is to some de­gree con­structed and rel­a­tive. The malle­abil­ity of value is a well-stud­ied area called psy­chophysics,20 and re­searchers have some ad­vice for how we can in­ject value into nec­es­sary tasks.


If the task you’re avoid­ing is bor­ing, try to make it more difficult, right up to the point where the difficulty level matches your cur­rent skill, and you achieve “flow.“21 This is what the state troop­ers of Su­per Troop­ers did: they de­vised strange games and challenges to make their bor­ing job pass­able. Myr­tle Young made her bor­ing job at a potato chip fac­tory more in­ter­est­ing and challeng­ing by look­ing for potato chips that re­sem­bled celebri­ties and pul­ling them off the con­veyor belts.


It also helps to make sure tasks are con­nected to some­thing you care about for its own sake,22 at least through a chain: you read the book so you can pass the test so you can get the grade so you can get the job you want and have a fulfilling ca­reer. Break­ing the chain leaves a task feel­ing mean­ingless.


Ob­vi­ously, tasks are harder when you don’t have much en­ergy.23 Tackle tasks when you are most alert. This de­pends on your cir­ca­dian rhythm,24 but most peo­ple have the most en­ergy dur­ing a pe­riod start­ing a few hours af­ter they wake up and last­ing 4 hours.25 Also, make sure to get enough sleep and ex­er­cise reg­u­larly.26

Other things that have worked for many peo­ple are:

  • Drink lots of wa­ter.

  • Stop eat­ing any­thing that con­tains wheat and other grains.

  • Use drugs (es­pe­cially modafinil) as nec­es­sary.

  • Do short but in­tense ex­er­cise once a week.

  • When tired, splash cold wa­ter on your face or take a shower or do jump­ing jacks or go run­ning.

  • Listen to mu­sic that picks up your mood.

  • De-clut­ter your life, be­cause clut­ter is cog­ni­tively ex­haust­ing for your brain to pro­cess all day long.


One ob­vi­ous way to in­ject more value into a task is to re­ward your­self for com­plet­ing it.27

Also, mix bit­ter medicine with sweet honey. Pair a long-term in­ter­est with a short-term plea­sure.28 Find a work­out part­ner whose com­pany you en­joy. Treat your­self to a spe­cialty coffee when do­ing your taxes. I bribe my­self with Pinkberry frozen yo­gurt to do things I hate do­ing.


Of course, the most pow­er­ful way to in­crease the value of a task is to fo­cus on do­ing what you love wher­ever pos­si­ble. It doesn’t take much ex­tra mo­ti­va­tion for me to re­search meta-ethics or write sum­maries of sci­en­tific self-help: that is what I love to do. Some peo­ple who love play­ing video games have made ca­reers out of it. To figure out which ca­reer might be full of tasks that you love to do, tak­ing a RIASEC per­son­al­ity test might help. In the USA, O*NET can help you find jobs that are in-de­mand and fit your per­son­al­ity.

Han­dling Impulsiveness

Im­pul­sive­ness is, on av­er­age, the biggest fac­tor in pro­cras­ti­na­tion. Here are two of Steel’s (2010a) meth­ods for deal­ing with im­pul­sive­ness.

Com­mit Now

Ulysses did not make it past the beau­tiful singing Sirens with willpower. Rather, he knew his weak­nesses and so he com­mit­ted in ad­vance to sail past them: he liter­ally tied him­self to his ship’s mast. Sev­eral forms of pre­com­mit­ment are use­ful in han­dling im­pul­sive­ness.29

One method is to “throw away the key”: Close off tempt­ing al­ter­na­tives. Many peo­ple see a pro­duc­tivity boost when they de­cide not to al­low a TV in their home; I haven’t owned one in years. But now, TV and more is available on the in­ter­net. To block that, you might need a tool like Res­cueTime. Or, un­plug your router when you’ve got work to do.

Another method is to make failure re­ally painful. The web­site stickK lets you set aside money you will lose if you don’t meet your goal, and en­sures that you have an out­side referee to de­cide whether your met your goal or not. To “up the ante,” set things up so that your money will go to an or­ga­ni­za­tion you hate if you fail. And have your cho­sen referee agree to post the de­tails of your dona­tion to Face­book if you don’t meet your goal.

Set Goals

Hun­dreds of books stress SMART goals: goals that are Spe­cific, Mea­surable, At­tain­able, Real­is­tic, and Time-An­chored.30 Is this recom­men­da­tion backed by good re­search? Not quite. First, no­tice that At­tain­able is re­dun­dant with Real­is­tic, and Spe­cific is Re­dun­dant with Mea­surable and Time-An­chored. Se­cond, im­por­tant con­cepts are miss­ing. Above, we em­pha­sized the im­por­tance of goals that are challeng­ing (and thus, lead to “flow”) and mean­ingful (con­nected to things you de­sire for their own sake).

It’s also im­por­tant to break up goals into lots of smaller sub­goals which, by them­selves, are eas­ier to achieve and have more im­me­di­ate dead­lines. Typ­i­cally, daily goals are fre­quent enough, but it can also help to set an im­me­di­ate goal to break you through the “get­ting started” thresh­old. Your first goal can be “Write the email to the pro­ducer,” and your next goal can be the daily goal. Once that first, 5-minute task has been com­pleted, you’ll prob­a­bly already be on your way to the larger daily goal, even if it takes 30 min­utes or 2 hours.31

Also: Are your goals mea­sur­ing in­puts or out­puts? Is your goal to spend 30 min­utes on X or is it to pro­duce fi­nal product X? Try it differ­ent ways for differ­ent tasks, and see what works for you.

Be­cause we are crea­tures of habit, it helps to get into a rou­tine.32 For ex­am­ple: Ex­er­cise at the same time, ev­ery day.


So there you have it. To beat pro­cras­ti­na­tion, you need to in­crease your mo­ti­va­tion to do each task on which you are tempted to pro­cras­ti­nate. To do that, you can (1) op­ti­mize your op­ti­mism for suc­cess on the task, (2) make the task more pleas­ant, and (3) take steps to over­come your im­pul­sive­ness. And to do each of those things, use the spe­cific meth­ods ex­plained above (set goals, pre-com­mit, make use of suc­cess spirals, etc.).

A warn­ing: Don’t try to be perfect. Don’t try to com­pletely elimi­nate pro­cras­ti­na­tion. Be real. Over­reg­u­la­tion will make you un­happy. You’ll have to find a bal­ance.

But now you have the tools you need. Iden­tify which parts of the pro­cras­ti­na­tion equa­tion need the most work in your situ­a­tion, and figure out which meth­ods for deal­ing with that part of the prob­lem work best for you. Then, go out there and make your­self stronger, score that job, and help save the world!

(And, read The Pro­cras­ti­na­tion Equa­tion if you want more de­tail than I in­cluded here.)

Next post: My Al­gorithm for Beat­ing Procrastination

Pre­vi­ous post: Scien­tific Self-Help: The State of Our Knowledge


1 Th­ese are the fic­tional char­ac­ters used to illus­trate the pro­cras­ti­na­tion equa­tion in Steel (2010a).

2 Ex­pec­tancy cor­re­sponds most closely to the com­monly mea­sured trait of “self effi­cacy.” The rel­a­tively strong cor­re­la­tion be­tween low self-effi­cacy and pro­cras­ti­na­tion (across 39 stud­ies) is shown table 3 of Steel (2007).

3 In a re­cent post, Eliezer Yud­kowsky claimed that “on a mo­ment-to-mo­ment ba­sis, be­ing in the mid­dle of do­ing the work is usu­ally less painful than be­ing in the mid­dle of pro­cras­ti­nat­ing.” Thus, “when you pro­cras­ti­nate, you’re prob­a­bly not pro­cras­ti­nat­ing be­cause of the pain of work­ing.” That might be true for Eliezer in par­tic­u­lar, but stud­ies on pro­cras­ti­na­tion sug­gest it’s not true for most peo­ple. The pain of do­ing a task is a ma­jor fac­tor con­tribut­ing to pro­cras­ti­na­tion. This is known as the prob­lem of task aver­sive­ness (Brown 1991; Burka & Yuen 1983; Ellis & Knauss 1977), also known as the prob­lem of task ap­peal (Har­ris & Sut­ton, 1983) or as the dys­pho­ric af­fect (Mil­gram, Sroloff, & Rosen­baum, 1988). For an overview of ad­di­tional liter­a­ture demon­strat­ing this point, see page 75 of Steel (2007).

4 For an overview of the cor­re­la­tion be­tween im­pul­sive­ness and pro­cras­ti­na­tion, see pages 76-79 and 81 of Steel (2007).

5 This is rec­og­nized as one of the psy­cholog­i­cal laws of learn­ing (Sch­wawrtz, 1989), and plays a role in the dom­i­nant eco­nomic role of dis­counted util­ity (Loewen­stein & Elster, 1992). In par­tic­u­lar, see the work on tem­po­ral con­strual the­ory (Trope & Liber­man, 2003).

6 The pro­cras­ti­na­tion equa­tion is called tem­po­ral mo­ti­va­tional the­ory (TMT). See Steel (2007) on how TMT ac­counts for ev­ery ma­jor find­ing on pro­cras­ti­na­tion. See Steel & Konig (2006) on how TMT draws upon and in­te­grates our best psy­cholog­i­cal the­o­ries of mo­ti­va­tion. There are other the­o­ries of pro­cras­ti­na­tion—the most pop­u­lar may be the de­ci­sional-avoidant-arousal the­ory pro­posed by Fer­rari (1992). But a re­cent meta-anal­y­sis shows that TMT is more con­sis­tent with the data (Steel, 2010b). An im­por­tant note is that the full ver­sion of TMT places a con­stant in the de­nom­i­na­tor to pre­vent the de­nom­i­na­tor from sky­rock­et­ing into in­finity as de­lay ap­proaches 0. Also, ‘im­pul­sive­ness’ here is a sub­sti­tute for ‘sus­cep­ti­bil­ity to de­lay,’ some­thing which may vary by task, whereas ‘im­pul­sive­ness’ sounds like a sta­ble char­ac­ter trait that might not help to ex­plain hav­ing differ­ent mo­ti­va­tions to perform differ­ent tasks.

7 This ex­am­ple taken from Steel (2010a). Aca­demic pro­cras­ti­na­tion is the most-stud­ied kind of pro­cras­ti­na­tion (McCown & Roberts, 1994).

8 Even Ge­orge Or­well hated writ­ing. He wrote: “Writ­ing a book is a hor­rible, ex­haust­ing strug­gle, like a long bout of some painful ill­ness.”

9 See Can­nings et al. (2005) and New­stead (2002).

10 Read chap­ter 3 of Steel (2010a).

11 In busi­ness academia, suc­cess spirals are known as “effi­cacy-perfor­mance spirals” or “effi­cacy-perfor­mance de­vi­a­tion am­plify­ing loops”. See Lind­sley et al. (1995).

12 See Steel (2010a), note 9 in chap­ter 7.

13 See Hans (2000), Feld­man & Mat­jasko (2005), and World Or­ga­ni­za­tion of the Scout Move­ment (1998).

14 Zim­mer­man (2002).

15 Aarts et al. (2008), Ar­mi­tage & Con­ner (2001), Rivs & Sheeran (2003), van Knip­pen­berg et al. (2004).

16 Levin & Spei (2004), Rhue & Lynn (1987), Sch­nei­der (2001), Waldo & Mer­ritt (2000).

17 Achtz­iger et al. (2008), Oet­tin­gen et al. (2005), Oet­tin­gen & Thorpe (2006), Ka­vanagh et al. (2005), Pham & Tay­lor (1999).

18 Si­gall et al. (2000).

19 Aspin­wall (2005).

20 A good overview is We­ber (2003).

21 Csik­szent­miha­lyi (1990).

22 Miller & Brick­man (2004), Schraw & Lehman (2001), Wolters (2003).

23 Steel (2007), Gro­pel & Steel (2008).

24 Furn­ham (2002).

25 Klein (2009).

26 Oaten & Cheng (2006).

27 Ban­dura (1976), Feb­braro & Clum (1998), Fer­rari & Em­mons (1995). This is known as learned in­dus­tri­ous­ness, im­pulse pairing or im­pulse fu­sion. See Eisen­berger (1992), Ren­ninger (2000), Stromer et al. (2000).

28 Ainslie (1992).

29 Ariely & Werten­broch (2002) and Schel­ling (1992).

30 Locke & Latham (2002).

31 Gro­pel & Steel (2008), Steel (2010a).

32 Diefen­dorff et al. (2006), Gol­lwitzer (1996), Silver (1974).


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