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Understanding the effects of time perspective: A meta-analysis testing a self-regulatory framework.
Psychological Bulletin  (IF17.737),  Pub Date : 2020-11-12, DOI: 10.1037/bul0000313
Harriet M Baird,Thomas L Webb,Fuschia M Sirois,Jilly Gibson-Miller

Despite extensive evidence that time perspective is associated with a range of important outcomes across a variety of life domains (e.g., health, education, wealth), the question of why time perspective has such wide-reaching effects remains unknown. The present review proposes that self-regulatory processes can offer insight into why time perspective is linked to outcomes. To test this idea we classified measures of time perspective according to the dimension of time perspective that they reflected (e.g., past, present-hedonistic, future) and measures of self-regulation according to the self-regulatory process (i.e., goal setting, goal monitoring, and goal operating), ability, or outcome that they reflected. A systematic search identified 378 studies, reporting 2,000 tests of the associations between measures of time perspective and self-regulation. Random-effects meta-analyses with robust variance estimation found that a future time perspective had small-to-medium-sized positive associations with goal setting (r+ = 0.25), goal monitoring (r+ = 0.19), goal operating (r+ = 0.24), self-regulatory ability (r+ = 0.35), and outcomes (r+ = 0.18). Present time perspective, including being present-hedonistic and present-fatalistic, was negatively associated with self-regulatory processes, ability, and outcomes (r+ ranged from -0.00 to -0.27). Meta-analytic mediation models found that the relationship between future time perspective and outcomes was mediated by goal monitoring, goal operating, and self-regulatory ability, but not goal setting. As the first test of why time perspective is associated with key outcomes, the findings highlight the central role of self-regulation processes and abilities for understanding why people with certain time perspectives experience better outcomes. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).