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Trading Cents for Seconds: The Development of a Short Scale to Examine How People Make Trade-Offs Between Time and Money

Case
By: Ashley V. Whillans & Alice J. Lee Published: 2018 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
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Abstract

To maximize happiness, should people value time or money? Although the majority of research in social psychology has focused on how being materialistic undermines happiness, less research has focused on how the trade-offs that people make between time and money affect happiness. That is, should people give up money to have more time, or should they give up time to have more money? To answer this question, my colleagues and I developed a quick and simple way of measuring whether respondents prioritize having more time at the expense of having less money or whether respondents value having more money at the expense of having less time. In this case study, we will discuss the development and validation of this new scale. We will also discuss the importance of testing this scale in various contexts with diverse populations. We will end this case study by discussing the pros and cons of developing short measures and the limitations of cross-sectional designs for making causal inferences.

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