Future time perspective (FTP) refers to individuals' perceptions of the future as either open-ended or limited. Despite well-documented individual differences in FTP across the adult life span, little is known about short-term variations of FTP within individuals and the within-person associations between FTP and affective experiences.
Study 1 used data from a daily diary study over 10 days (N = 564) with a wide age range across the adult life span (M = 48.30). Study 2 used data from an ambulatory assessment study over 10 days (N = 136) obtained from healthy older adults (M = 70.45).
Findings suggest that 10% to 20% of the total variance in FTP was within-person and 29% to 62% of the total variance in affect was within-person. Multilevel modeling showed that occasions with a more open-ended FTP were occasions with more positive affect, energetic arousal, calmness, and positive valence, and less negative affect. Age moderated the within-person associations between FTP and positive and negative affect as well as energetic arousal, with weaker associations for older adults.
This research demonstrates the importance of looking at both within-person and between-person differences with respect to the associations between FTP and affective experiences in daily life.