Future Time Perspective: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

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Abstract

The ability to foresee, anticipate, and plan for future desired outcomes is crucial for well-being, motivation, and behavior. However, theories in organizational psychology do not incorporate time-related constructs such as Future Time Perspective (FTP), and research on FTP remains disjointed and scattered, with different domains focusing on different aspects of the construct, using different measures, and assessing different antecedents and consequences. In this review and meta-analysis, we aim to clarify the FTP construct, advance its theoretical development, and demonstrate its importance by (a) integrating theory and empirical findings across different domains of research to identify major outcomes and antecedents of FTP, and (b) empirically examining whether and how these variables are moderated by FTP measures and dimensions. Results of a meta-analysis of k = 212 studies reveal significant relationships between FTP and major classes of consequences (i.e., those related to achievement, well-being, health behavior, risk behavior, and retirement planning), and between antecedents and FTP, as well as moderating effects of different FTP measures and dimensions. Highlighting the importance of FTP for organizational psychology theories, our findings demonstrate that FTP predicts these outcomes over and above the big five personality traits and mediates the associations between these personality traits and outcomes.

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