From: The Wall Street Journal

We Know Why You’re Always Late

The Wall Street Journal:

Chronically late people can be frustrating and baffling to anyone stuck waiting for them.

One main explanation for their behavior is deceptively simple, psychologists say: People simply underestimate how long a task will take.

That’s a little-known concept called the planning fallacy, which is a strong tendency to chronically underestimate task completion. The planning fallacy is one of the most difficult behavioral patterns to change, experts say.

“This is a judgment that you’d think that people would be motivated to get right,” said Justin Kruger, a social psychologist and professor in the marketing department at NYU’s Stern School of Business. “There are all sorts of disincentives and punishments for being late, and the paradox is we’re late even when those punishments and consequences exist.”

In terms of workplace tardiness, Lawrence T. White, a psychology professor at Beloit College in Beloit, Wis., said organizational psychologists have found that employee tardiness can be predicted by the age of an employee’s child. The younger the child, the more likely the employee will arrive late.

Read the whole story: The Wall Street Journal

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