EVANSTON, IL—A new study out this week from psychologists at Northwestern University has calculated that Americans attempt to evade an average of 10,000 social engagements, family obligations, and other commitments every year. “Whether it’s taking their car in for maintenance, helping a friend move, saving for retirement, or washing the dishes, the majority of U.S. residents try to back out of at least 27 things a day, or more than one obligation per hour,” the study’s authors wrote in the Journal Of Interpersonal Dynamics, noting that citizens spend an average of 30 hours per week mentally devising ways to dodge commitments they’ve already made. “Americans work tirelessly at getting out of things, even when it’s something they themselves planned, such as a doctor’s appointment, a drink with a friend, or a meeting at work. Indeed, backpedaling is among the most common actions that Americans perform on a daily basis.” Despite the fact that citizens try to get out of 10,000 things per year, researchers noted that the average American has only four excuses.
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