Delay That’s in Our DNA

The Wall Street Journal:

If your first impulse is to put off reading this column, your parents may be the reason.

But read it anyway, because impulsiveness and procrastination so often go hand in hand. In a new paper, researchers at the University of Colorado have found that each of the two traits is nearly half heritable, with no genetic factors unique to either trait alone. They go together, in other words, like peanut butter and jelly.

The connection may sound counterintuitive, since at first blush impulsiveness seems like the opposite of procrastination. The former, after all, involves acting rashly, while the latter is about irrational delay. But previous research has found the two traits to be strongly correlated, and they do have something in common: deviation from a longer-term goal. Indeed, in this study two-thirds of the genetic variation in procrastination and impulsiveness was shared with variation in goal-management ability.

Read the whole story: The Wall Street Journal

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