Promptnia, sometimes referred to as punctuality anxiety, is caused by the influence of social norms upon a person's perception of the appropriate temporal match between a scheduled event and that person's appearance at that event. Promptnia can be manifested in either of two forms, Antecedent Promptnia and Postcedent Promptnia.

Antecedent Promptnia is triggered when a person believes that he or she must appear on time for, or in advance of a scheduled event (e.g., doctor's appointment, meeting with a client). Anxiety comes from knowing that appointments are generally scheduled in advance of  actual meeting times so that one will most likely have to sit and cool his or her jets for 20 minutes.


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Postcedent Promptnia is popularly known as "fashionably late." It is elicited when the scheduled or "official" start of an event stands in contradiction to the "expected" onset of that event as determined by cultural norms as well as the social status of the event-goer. For example, when an "average Joe" is invited to a party of celebrities, he doesn't want to appear overly eager (which he is) to meet the luminaries (which he desperately wants to do) so he plans to arrive "fashionably late," even if it means sitting in a taxi for an extra 20 minutes.

With the exception of people employed in the "trades" (e.g., plumbers, painters, cable installers) where it is completely absent, Antecedent Promptnia is twice as common in the adult population as Postcedent Promptnia.

While products are now available for promptniacs, to date, no long-term therapies have shown promise in the treatment of Promptnia.

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