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Time Perspective Essay

2810 words - 12 pages

SOCIAL BEHAVIOR AND PERSONALITY, 2011, 39(6), 729-736 © Society for Personality Research DOI 10.2224/sbp.2011.39.6.729

YU-JING GAO Fu Jen Catholic University, New Taipei City, Taiwan, ROC
Profiles of time perspective were explored using a person-oriented approach, and the relationship between balanced time perspective (BTP) and life satisfaction in young Taiwanese adults was examined. A cluster group was identified that fitted the configuration of BTP as proposed by Boniwell and Zimbardo (2004), that is, high past positive, high present hedonistic, and high future scores, combined with low past negative and low present ...view middle of the document...

Appreciation is due to reviewers including: Philip Zimbardo, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA, Email: Please address correspondence and reprint requests to: Yu-Jing Gao, Department of Psychology, Fu Jen Catholic University, 510, Chung Cheng Rd., Hsinchung District, New Taipei City, 24205, Taiwan, ROC. Email:




Guarino, De Pascalis, & Zimbardo, 2003). The Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory (ZTPI), developed by Zimbardo and Boyd (1999), is a standardized instrument used to measure multidimensions of TP, that is, past positive (PP), past negative (PN), present hedonistic (PH), present fatalistic (PF), and future (F). This scale was also validated by Tu (2004) with a sample of Taiwanese young adults. TP has been shown to influence behaviors such as substance abuse (Keough, Zimbardo, & Boyd, 1999), procrastination (Tu, 2004), and smoking cessation (Adams, 2009). Its correlation with other psychological constructs such as depression, anxiety, self-esteem, happiness, and well-being has also been explored (Boniwell et al., 2010; Drake, Duncan, Sutherland, Abernethy, & Henry, 2008; Zimbardo & Boyd, 1999). Zimbardo and Boyd (1999) found that individuals who have a balanced time perspective (BTP) can switch flexibly to an appropriate temporal orientation depending on various situational and task conditions, and thus can function more effectively. Boniwell and Zimbardo (2004) also found that individuals who have a BTP are happier than those who have not. Working with a Scottish sample, Drake et al. (2008) demonstrated a significant difference in subjective happiness and mindfulness, between participants with a BTP profile and those with other TP profiles. Boniwell et al. (2010) used a cluster analysis, instead of the cutoff point method used by Drake et al., with British and Russian samples to identify groups of participants with similar TP profiles. They demonstrated that British participants with a BTP profile had more positive emotion, self-actualization, and satisfaction with life, and found that the Russian participants had more satisfaction with life, subjective happiness, self-efficacy, and optimism and found life more meaningful. However, there has been little empirical research focused on BTP and its correlation with other psychological constructs carried out in Asian societies. METHOD PARTICIPANTS Participants were 420 young adults from five universities in northern Taiwan (278 females and 142 males, mean age = 20.51, age range from 18 to 40). Of the participants, 72.6% had no religious affiliation (n = 305) and 27.4% were affiliated to a religion (n = 114). MEASURES The 20-item ZTPI–Chinese version (Tu, 2004) was used to assess TP. In this version, each of the five dimensions is measured by four items with the highest factor loadings from the original ZTP (Zimbardo & Boyd, 1999). Tu reported



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