People often assume that procrastination is a choice and that the personality trait — which sees people delay necessary tasks — is a sign of laziness.

人们通常认为拖延症是一种选择,而且这种让人推迟必要工作的人格特点是懒惰的表现。

However, new research suggests that genes may play a role.

但有新研究表明这是受基因影响的。

Previous research has associated both biological and psychological factors with procrastination.

此前的研究分析了导致拖延症的生理和心理因素。

The results of a 2018 study showed that people with a tendency to procrastinate had a bigger amygdala — the section of the brain that processes emotions.

2018年一项研究的结果显示有拖延症倾向的人杏仁核更大,杏仁核是大脑中负责处理情绪的部分。

The same research team has now studied whether there is an association between the trait and genetics.

该研究团队现在研究了这个性格特点和遗传学之间的联系。

After examining identical and fraternal twins, the authors of a previous study, which featured in Psychological Science, concluded that 46% of the tendency to procrastinate might be down to genes.

此前发表在《Psychological Science》杂志上的一项研究研究了同卵双胞胎和异卵双胞胎,其作者得出的结论是46%的拖延倾向都是由基因决定的。

However, researchers still do not know the specific genetic difference that could result in this trait.

但研究人员仍不清楚是什么特定的遗传差异造成了拖延症。

Dr. Erhan Gen, from Ruhr-Universitt Bochum in Germany, believes that he may now have the answer.

德国波鸿鲁尔大学的Erhan Gen博士认为他现在可能找到答案了。

But, there is a catch: it only relates to women.

但还有一个问题,那就是只对女性有影响。

The expression of the TH gene differs among individuals, leading to varying levels of dopamine and other neurotransmitters in individual brains. Previous studies have already linked increased dopamine levels with impulsive behavior.

个体之间酪氨酸羟基因(TH gene)表达存在差异,导致个体大脑中分泌的多巴胺和其他神经递质的水平也有所不同。此前的研究已经发现了多巴胺水平升高与冲动行为之间的联系。

"The neurotransmitter dopamine has repeatedly been associated with increased cognitive flexibility in the past," notes Dr. Gen. "This is not fundamentally bad but is often accompanied by increased distractibility."

Gen博士称:“过去曾多次发现神经递质多巴胺与认知灵活性的增强有关,从根本上来说这没什么不好,但通常会伴随注意力更加不集中的情况”。

The chemical's ability to affect cognitive control may, therefore, affect whether a person delays a task or performs it efficiently.

因此这种化学物质影响认知控制的能力会影响到一个人是否会推迟一项工作或高效完成工作。

翻译:菲菲