Time perspective and volunteerism: The importance of focusing on the future

Alexander Maki, Patrick C. Dwyer, Mark Snyder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Because volunteerism is a planned activity that unfolds over time, people who more frequently focus on the future might also be more likely to initiate volunteerism and sustain it over time. Using longitudinal (Study 1) and experimental (Study 2) paradigms, we investigated whether time perspective, and in particular a persons orientation toward the future, is related to volunteers beliefs and behavior. In Study 1, a persons dispositional level of future time perspective was closely linked to volunteer beliefs and behavior. In Study 2, people who wrote about the future reported higher intentions to volunteer, and this was particularly true for infrequent volunteers and those with lower levels of dispositional future time perspective. Across two studies, we found evidence that future time perspective, whether a chronic disposition or a pattern of thought elicited by someone else, is linked to volunteer beliefs and behavior.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)334-349
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Social Psychology
Volume156
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 3 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Taylor & Francis.

Keywords

  • Identity
  • personality
  • prosocial behaviour

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