Giving time can give you time

(Medical Xpress) -- Many people these days feel a sense of “time famine”—never having enough minutes and hours to do everything. We all know that our objective amount of time can’t be increased (there are only 24 hours in a day), but a new study suggests that volunteering our limited time—giving it away— may actually increase our sense of unhurried leisure.

Across four different experiments, researchers found that people’s subjective sense of having , called ‘time affluence,’ can be increased: compared with wasting time, spending time on oneself, and even gaining a windfall of ‘free’ time, spending time on others increased participants’ feelings of time affluence.

Lead researcher and psychological scientist Cassie Mogilner of the University of Pennsylvania believes this is because giving away time boosts one’s of personal competence and efficiency, and this in turn stretches out time in our minds. Ultimately, giving time makes people more willing to commit to future engagements despite their busy schedules.

This new research, conducted by Mogilner and co-authors Zoe Chance of the Yale School of Management and Michael Norton of Harvard Business School, is forthcoming in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Thoughts about time inspire people to socialize

Oct 07, 2010

Does thinking about time or money make you happier? A new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, finds that people who are made to think about time plan to spend ...

People mimic each other, but we aren't chameleons

Jan 11, 2012

(Medical Xpress) -- It’s easy to pick up on the movements that other people make—scratching your head, crossing your legs. But a new study published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological ...

Recommended for you

Cyber buddy is better than 'no buddy'

11 hours ago

A Michigan State University researcher is looking to give exercise enthusiasts the extra nudge they need during a workout, and her latest research shows that a cyber buddy can help.

Offenders turn to mental health services 

16 hours ago

Adult criminal offenders in Western Australian are eight times more likely than non-offenders to use community-based mental health services in the year before their first sentence, a UWA study has found.

Deliberation is staunchest ally of selfishness

17 hours ago

(Medical Xpress)—Over the last two years, Yale psychologist David Rand and colleagues have investigated what makes people willing to help each other. Their latest research shows that while initial reactions ...

User comments