RESEARCH PAPER
“I can’t decide, and it upsets me”: assessing self-critical cognition, indecision, and hope among young adults
 
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1
DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois, United States
2
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
 
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Background:
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.

Results:
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.

Conclusions:
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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