Perspectives on Time

Ilona Boniwell

in The Oxford Handbook of Positive Psychology

Second edition

Published in print July 2009 | ISBN: 9780195187243
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:
 Perspectives on Time

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Time perspective is a preferential direction of an individual's thoughts toward the past, present, or future, which exerts a dynamic influence on their experience, motivation, thinking, and several aspects of behavior. This chapter discusses the theoretical and conceptual bases of this construct, as well as existing approaches to measuring time perspective, such as the Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory. Major research findings with regard to time perspective are considered, including its influence on educational achievement, risk taking, and negative reminiscence. Further attention is paid to the patterns of relationships between various time perspective types and several aspects of well-being, highlighting the limitations associated with allowing any one time perspective to dominate. The idea of a balanced time perspective is suggested as an alternative to any particular temporal bias. In an optimally balanced time perspective, the past, present, and future components engage flexibly, in response to individuals' values and preferences, whilst taking into account a situation's context and demands at the same time.

Keywords: balanced time perspective; psychological time; psychology of time; time perspective

Article.  5744 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Social Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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