“I can’t decide, and it upsets me”: assessing self-critical cognition, indecision, and hope among young adults
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DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, United States
Submission date: 2018-06-18
Final revision date: 2018-08-31
Acceptance date: 2018-09-04
Online publication date: 2018-12-21
Publication date: 2019-03-01
Current Issues in Personality Psychology 2019;7(1):8–14
Decisional procrastination, or indecision, is the maladaptive postponing of decision-making when faced with conflicts or choic-es. In the present exploratory study, we examined two factors of a psychological model toward understanding the underpinnings of indecision, namely: self-critical cognition as a predisposition to indecision and decreased hope as a post-decision behavior of indecision. Self-critical cognition is the tendency for self-related thoughts to be critical and defeating. It is hypothesized to pre-dict indecision as self-critical individuals are likely to also doubt their competence at tasks such as decision-making and may, in turn, delay. Decreased hope is hypothesized to be an outcome of indecision as the latter is related to anxiety, worry, and life regret.

Participants and procedure:
Participants were 327 undergraduate students from a large Midwestern university (242 women, 82 men; Mage = 20.31 years old). They completed the self-report measures in an online survey and received class credit for participation.

Using a bootstrap analysis of the indirect effect, the results showed that indecision mediates the relationship between self-critical cognition and decreased hope among emerging adults.

Implications for future research and potential interventions to alter the pattern of indecision and to increase hope are discussed. This study moves forward the literature of indecision by examining a new predictor and outcome of indecision.

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