Long-term thinkers are more likely to make decisions about their health, and are more positive in their perception, on whether it's how much they drink or what to eat, reveals a new study.
During the study, researchers compared people's perspectives on time with their health behaviours.
"If you are more willing to pick later, larger rewards rather than taking the immediate payoff, you are more future-minded than present-minded," said James Daugherty, a doctoral student in psychology who led the study.
"You're more likely to exercise and less likely to smoke and drink," Daugherty added.
The survey conducted over college students with an average age of 19 showed that subjects who gave future-minded answers were more likely to report healthy behaviours.
They said this could have consequences for how people deal with negative health behaviours.
There is a lot of potential for helping people make better health decisions," said Gary Brase, K-State associate professor of psychology.
The expert added: "People who tend to have a very present-minded perspective will have an easier time following through with a change if they can see rewards sooner.
"So if somebody goes into a weight loss centre, the clinicians could measure a client's time perspective. Then the clinicians would know the more effective way of helping the client reach his or her weight loss goal."
Daugherty said a present-minded person could be encouraged by emphasizing minimal investment now for a quick payoff in the near future.
The study appears in the journal Personality and Individual Differences. (ANI)