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Background: A “balanced” time perspective has been suggested to have a positive influence on well-being: a sentimental and positive view of the past (high Past Positive), a less pessimistic attitude toward the past (low Past Negative), the desire of experiencing pleasure with slight concern for future consequences (high Present Hedonistic), a less fatalistic and hopeless view of the future (low Present Fatalistic), and the ability to find reward in achieving specific long-term goals (high Future). We used the affective profiles model (i.e., combinations of individuals’ experience of high/low positive/negative affectivity) to investigate differences between individuals in time perspective dimensions and to investigate if the influence of time perspective dimensions on well-being was moderated by the individual’s type of profile. Method: Participants (N = 720) answered to the Positive Affect Negative Affect Schedule, the Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory and two measures of well-being: the Temporal Satisfaction With Life Scale and the Scales of Psychological Well-Being-short version. A Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA) was conducted to identify differences in time perspective dimensions and well-being among affective profiles. Four Structural Equation Models (SEM) were used to investigate which time perspective dimensions predicted well-being for each profile. Results: Comparisons between individuals at the extreme of the affective profiles model suggested that individuals with a self-fulfilling profile (high positive/low negative affect) were characterized by a “balanced” time perspective and higher well-being compared to individuals with a self-destructive profile (low positive/high negative affect). However, a different pattern emerged when individuals who differed in one affect dimension but matched in the other were compared to each other. For instance, decreases in the past negative time perspective dimension lead to high positive affect when negative affect is high (i.e., self-destructive vs. high affective) but to low negative affect when positive affect was high (i.e., high affective vs. self-fulfilling). The moderation analyses showed, for example, that for individuals with a self-destructive profile, psychological well-being was significantly predicted by the past negative, present fatalistic and future time perspectives. Among individuals with a high affective or a self-fulfilling profile, psychological well-being was significantly predicted by the present fatalistic dimension. Conclusions: The interactions found here go beyond the postulation of a “balanced” time perspective being the only way of promoting well-being. Instead, it presents a more person-centered approach to achieve higher levels of emotional, cognitive, and psychological well-being.
In this article we investigated if the effect of a person's outlook on time perspectives (past, present, and future) on well-being is moderated by the person's affective profile. The article is under review in PeerJ.