Friday, September 19, 2008

Gender and procrastination

My husband asked me if having a male teacher correlated to more procrastination than having a female teacher. Well, beats me. I wasn't particularly interested in gender for this study. All three instructors in my study are male. I don't see any reason to expect that this would be a problem for the study, but I suppose someone could conduct a study to answer my husband's question. I could imagine certain teaching methods that encourage or discourage procrastination might actually correlate somewhat to gender, but it doesn't strike me as something that would make an obvious impact.

He also asked if the gender distribution of the class contributed to the amount of procrastination. Again, beats me. I didn't collect any data about the students' gender. I didn't even ask the students to report their genders on the questionnaires. I haven't tried to guess students' genders in assigning them pseudonyms.


Jess said...

I'm curious about how adequate you think your sample size is in order to point to any definite conclusion about anything regarding procrastination.

How many interesting findings do you think you have? I've heard you describe a couple.

Do all male teachers make a biased sample? Probably not but I just thought I'd ask.

Does bigger/smaller class size make a difference?

Time of the day?

Time of the week?

Relationship with regard to closeness to holidays?

Any relationship between the vagueness of answers on your questionnaires to overall procrastination/lack of quality of papers in the class?

More vagueness of main ideal of or title of paper or lack thereof have any relationship to overall procrastination?

Just some ideas.

Amy said...


I don't regard my study as definitive, but I think it's a good starting place for further research. The sample size isn't the only worrisome bit--I'm only studying one course at one university.

The main thing I find interesting is that procrastinators don't show problems with length or surface errors and yet they show problems with evidence. I didn't really expect to find a big difference between the different issues.

I doubt that it's a problem that I'm only studying male teachers, but if you know of any studies that suggest this might be a problem, I'm totally interested.

My intuition is that if class size makes a difference, it discourages procrastinating in smaller classes, where there's more accountability because you can't get lost in the crowd. But there isn't a big enough size difference between the classes I'm studying to draw any conclusions.

Hmm. I wonder if the ability to follow directions on a questionnaire correlates to the ability to write a passing paper. That seems difficult to pin down, but interesting.