San Francisco, CA (PRWEB) December 31, 2012
A new research study suggests that people’s perception of time may influence their financial and emotional well-being, as well as the kinds of purchases they choose to make. This finding is among several found in recent consumer behavior studies at the academic research website BeyondThePurchase.org.
Human beings have the ability to experience not only the present, but to project their thoughts and attention to the past and future as well. Psychologists have begun to study the psychological consequences of focusing on various time frames, and have found that time perspectives have a bigger influence on psychological health than one might guess.
Researchers at BeyondThePurchase.org were interested in the spending habits of people who show a tendency to focus on the past, present, or future. Visitors to the website completed the Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory, the Money Management Scale, and the Experiential Preferences Scale.
Results indicated that the people who place a strong emphasis on future comfort and reward, as opposed to satisfaction of current desires in the present, were the most likely to have good money management skills, such as tracking their finances and avoiding debt.
“Future-oriented people tend to save for a rainy day, while present-oriented people often do not pay attention to their finances, possibly because they just don’t want to know when they might be getting into financial trouble.” said Graham Hill, community manager of the website.
Additionally, the researchers found that people who do manage their money well tended to prefer purchasing inexpensive experiences, such as hiking.
“Despite the fact that good money managers may have more money to spend, they still tend to be thriftier in their purchases.” said Dr. Ryan Howell, associate professor of psychology at San Francisco State University. “Our finding that that good money managers focus on the future offers an explanation for this apparent contradiction.”
Do you tend to focus more on the past, present, or future? Visit BeyondThePurchase.org, login or register, and take the Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory to find out. This is just one of many surveys offered free of charge, where members of the public can learn more about their spending habits, financial behaviors, and happiness.