Profiles in Time: Understanding the Nature and Outcomes of Profiles of Temporal Focus

Abbie J. Shipp, Allison S. Gabriel, Lisa Schurer Lambert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

Individuals chronically vary in the extent to which they think about the past, present, and future. This individual difference—temporal focus—relates to a variety of work and life outcomes including affective well-being, job performance, and career success. Although it has been proposed that people can simultaneously focus on the past, present, and future (Lewin, 1943), tests of this idea within the organizational sciences remain scarce, with scholars instead focusing on the independent predictions of each aspect of temporal focus. As such, contradictory findings exist regarding the benefits of each dimension. In an effort to advance the discussion of temporal focus in the organizational literature,we present two studies that utilize latent profile analysis (LPA) to examine how people think about time holistically, uncovering initial profiles of past, present, and future temporal focus (Study 1) and demonstrating their effect on important work outcomes related to affect (e.g., job satisfaction, affective commitment) and withdrawal at work (e.g., turnover intentions, absenteeism, lateness; Study 2). Combined, our findings offer theoretical and practical implications that clarify conclusions about temporal focus in organizations and suggest directions for future work

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • individual difference
  • latent profile analysis
  • temporal focus
  • time
  • time perspective

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology

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