Rethinking Time: Implications for Well-Being

Rethinking Time: Implications for Well-Being

By
Cassie Mogilner, Hal Hershfield, Jennifer Aaker
Consumer Psychology Review (forthcoming).
2018

How people think about and use their time has critical implications for happiness and well-being. Extant research on time in the consumer behavior literature reveals a predominantly dichotomized perspective of time between the present and future. Drawing on research on emotions, social relationships, and financial decision making, we highlight how removing categorical dichotomies can lead to beneficial outcomes. From this, we propose a conceptualization of time that does not force a tradeoff between the present and future, but allows them to co-exist in consumers’ minds and experiences. Finally, we discuss one way consumers might adopt this perspective to increase happiness – by taking an elevated or “bird’s-eye” perspective of time where the future and present, as well as the past, become equally visible, and where events from different time points are treated and experienced as part of one’s overall life and being.