Time Perspective in Career-Related Choices: Applications of Time-Discounting Principles

Beryl Hesketh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


The article reports two studies applying time-discounting principles to career-related issues. The first study on 40 participants examined the influence of time delay on decisions between options for paying a student union fee or receiving a student scholarship. The predicted positive-negative asymmetry was obtained, with greater time discounting for positive than negative outcomes. The second study compared 13 expert career counselors with 22 similar-age novices in terms of their degree of discounting for their own job preferences and for those of an average graduate. No differences emerged between the novices and experts in relation to their own choices, but experts presented a more realistic assessment of the average graduate decisions than did the novices. The results are discussed in terms of the importance of time perspective in career choice, framing effects, the implicit time constructs in occupational information, and the difficulty of applying career expertise to one's own job choices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-84
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Vocational Behavior
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Career choice; time discounting; novice-expert differences; framing; time perspective


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