CEC Faculty Proceedings, Presentations, Speeches and Lectures


An experimental study of habit and time incentive in online-exam procrastination

Event Location / Date(s)

Raanana, Israel / February 19-20, 2013

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Presentation Date


Conference Name / Publication Title

Proceedings of 2013 Chais Conference for the Study of Innovation and Learning Technologies

First Page


Last Page



When it comes to task completion, habit is an automatic human behavior, where frequent past behaviors have a direct effect on future behavior. In contrast, procrastination appears to be a significantly observed habit. With today's fast moving, information-rich environment and the speed at which information workers are required to complete their assignments, task performance, as well as task completion time, are crucial to the success of individuals and organizations. In the context of online exams, we have observed significant levels (nearly 60%) of procrastination in task completion, based on a large volume of exams. This study was set as a quasiexperiment that included an experimental group of 480 and a control group of 1,629 online exams. Given the significant procrastination observed, time incentives were provided to the experimental group in an effort to measure their effects on procrastination, task performance, and task completion time in online exams. Mann-Whitney U tests were conducted to assess such differences between the experimental and control groups. Using the 2,109 online-exam records, our results indicated a significant effect of time incentives on procrastination, while task performance and task completion time documented no significant effect. Discussion and conclusion are provided.