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Taking Time Seriously

Taking Time Seriously Socioemotional selectivity theory claims that the perception of time plays a fundamental role in the selection and pursuit of social goals. According to the theory, social motives fall into 1 of 2 general categories—those related to the acquisition of knowledge and those related to the regulation of emotion. When time is perceived as open-ended, knowledge-related goals are prioritized. In contrast, when time is perceived as limited, emotional goals assume primacy. The inextricable association between time left in life and chronological age ensures age-related differences in social goals. Nonetheless, the authors show that the perception of time is malleable, and social goals change in both younger and older people when time constraints are imposed. The authors argue that time perception is integral to human motivation and suggest potential implications for multiple subdisciplines and research interests in social, developmental, cultural, cognitive, and clinical psychology. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png American Psychologist American Psychological Association

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Publisher
American Psychological Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1999 American Psychological Association
ISSN
0003-066x
eISSN
1935-990X
DOI
10.1037/0003-066X.54.3.165
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Socioemotional selectivity theory claims that the perception of time plays a fundamental role in the selection and pursuit of social goals. According to the theory, social motives fall into 1 of 2 general categories—those related to the acquisition of knowledge and those related to the regulation of emotion. When time is perceived as open-ended, knowledge-related goals are prioritized. In contrast, when time is perceived as limited, emotional goals assume primacy. The inextricable association between time left in life and chronological age ensures age-related differences in social goals. Nonetheless, the authors show that the perception of time is malleable, and social goals change in both younger and older people when time constraints are imposed. The authors argue that time perception is integral to human motivation and suggest potential implications for multiple subdisciplines and research interests in social, developmental, cultural, cognitive, and clinical psychology.

Journal

American PsychologistAmerican Psychological Association

Published: Mar 1, 1999

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