The choice to procrastinate continues to perplex researchers and procrastinators alike. Previous research has assumed that the behaviour is paradoxical and therefore researchers have searched for answers to this paradox. The present qualitative study aimed to explore students’ experiences of self-defeating behaviour by mainly focusing on their experiences of procrastination. The notion of procrastination as paradoxical is suspended in favour of exploring the meaning participants attribute to their behaviour by using interpretative phenomenological methodology. Six participants were purposively selected from the University of Pretoria using a screening questionnaire developed by the researcher. The selected participants were interviewed, and the resulting data were analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). Four themes emerged from the data which included procrastination and the self, agency, the function of procrastination, and coping with procrastination. Furthermore, a fifth theme, namely, additional self-defeating behaviours is also discussed. The findings suggest that participants derive meaning from their procrastination beyond defining their self-defeating behaviour as paradoxical. The implications of the findings and resulting conclusions are thereafter further discussed with regards to future research on procrastination.
Mini Dissertation (MA)--University of Pretoria, 2018.