Science/Tech

Is Procrastination A Genetic Thing?

Feeling Lazy
Being lazy may simply mean you don't have the right kind of motivation to get you started. Photo courtesy of Pixabay, public domain

The clock slowly starts ticking to five, which is conveniently, your deadline. Yet for some reason, you keep putting off the work and looking for other things to do. A 5-minute stroll here, a couple of YouTube videos there. You know fully well that you need to start working, yet you just can’t stop from procrastinating. Yes, procrastinating.

We’ve all been there, even hardworking people. As such, it’s no surprise that it’s often touted as a sign of laziness. A study published just last year says otherwise however, suggesting that genes may be playing a role that’s bigger than we think.

Procrastination: Do our genes play a role?

Along with his colleagues from the Technival University of Dresden, Dr. Erhan Genç of Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany, believes that around 46 percent of our tendency to procrastinate is related to our genes. More specifically, Dr. Genç said that he knows what type of specific genetic difference leads us to having the tendency to procrastinate more: being a woman.

With the research results appearing in the journal Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience, it focused particularly on a gene that makes the enzyme tyrosine hydroxylase (TH). Per the research, this gene helps regulate the dopamine in our bodies, a chemical that plays a huge role in processes made by our brain. This includes memory, attention, and feeling of happiness. With previous studies already linking dopamine with impulsiveness, the researchers found out that individuals have different TH genes, and as such, different levels of dopamine. This then, results in whether a person will perform efficiently or keep delaying a task.

Furthermore, the research also showed that women who have a variant of the TH gene are more likely to have less control of their actions, oftentimes leading to procrastination. The results also showed that they’re more likely to have higher levels of dopamine.

"The relationship [between the  TH  gene and female procrastination] is not yet understood fully, but the female sex hormone  estrogen seems to play a role," says Dr. Genç. Women may, therefore, be more susceptible to genetic differences in dopamine levels due to estrogen, which, in turn, is reflected in behavior."

Feeling Lazy Being lazy may simply mean you don't have the right kind of motivation to get you started. Photo courtesy of Pixabay, public domain

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