Date of Award

Spring 2000

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Psychology and Behavioral Sciences

First Advisor

Thomas P. Springer


Accuracy in predicting the duration necessary to complete a task is an important dimension of daily fife. There exists a large degree of variation in an individual's accuracy in predicting task duration. One domain suggested to influence accuracy of predicting duration is that of personality factors and individual differences. Empirical and theoretical links were found in the literature between the personality factor conscientiousness, of the Five Factor Model of Personality, anxiety, and predicting task duration. The purpose of this dissertation was to empirically examine the role of conscientiousness and anxiety in the accurate prediction of task duration. Ninety-five undergraduate students completed the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI), the Neuroticism, Extroversion, Openness Personality Inventory - Revised (NEO-PI-R), and predicted the duration needed to read three passages. Results indicated that individuals scoring high on conscientiousness were significantly less accurate, by overestimation, in predicting the amount of time needed to complete a task than individuals scoring average or low on conscientiousness. A step-wise regression revealed that self-discipline was the only facet of conscientiousness that significantly accounted for accuracy in predicting task duration. Anxiety was not significantly related to predicting task duration. Potential explanations and implications for the results, limitations of the study, and directions for future research are discussed.