So What If the Clock Strikes? Scheduling Style, Control, and Well-Being


Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

November 2014, vol. 107, n°5, pp.791-808

Departments: Marketing, GREGHEC (CNRS)

Keywords: scheduling style, clock-time, personal control, well-being, self-regulation

Individuals vary in the way they schedule their daily tasks and activities. In particular, 2 scheduling styles are commonly followed: clock-time (where tasks are organized based on a clock) and event-time (where tasks are organized based on their order of completion). This research shows that adopting a clock-time or an event-time scheduling style has consequences that go beyond the direct effect on task organization. In particular, adopting 1 scheduling style versus the other is shown to potentially influence personal control and well-being. We demonstrate that the reliance on clock- versus event-time affects individuals’ perception of the causal relationship between events in the social world (Experiments 1 and 2). Specifically, we show that individuals following clock-time rather than event-time discriminate less between causally related and causally unrelated events, which in turn increases their belief that the world is controlled by chance or fate. In contrast, individuals following event-time (vs. clock-time) appear tobelieve that things happen more as a result of their own actions. We further show that this difference in internal locus of control compromises the ability of individuals following clock-time to savor positive emotions (Experiments 3a–5). We discuss the implications of these findings for future research in social and cognitive psychology