Subjective temporal well-being: Defining, measuring, and applying a new concept
Journal article, 2017
Time scarcity has become part and parcel of our modern predicament, with individuals' temporal experiences emerging as a central factor for their wellbeing. Despite the widespread experience of time-related problems, however, no comprehensive method to measure the subjective temporal dimensions of this experience have been generally accepted. This article seeks to take a step in addressing this gap by introducing a new concept called "Subjective Temporal Well-being". In the first part of the article, the new concept is defined in its two fundamental dimensions, anchoring it to the experience of a low level of perceived time pressure and a high level of satisfaction with how one's time is spent. Next, the concept is subjected to an empirical examination using a data-set consisting of 1,000 Swedish respondents. The concept is related to other, existing measures of well-being, and the particular characteristics of individuals found in the present research to have especially "high" and "low" temporal well-being are mapped. The concept of Subjective Temporal Well-being is proposed to provide a comprehensible and tangible angle for the study of key dimensions of people's everyday lives, which in some cases can be more suitable than the notion of overall well-being. Finally, the implications of the new concept are explored in terms of its possible applications in statistical surveys and its usefulness for academic research.