Authenticity and Use of Time

Jaime Haines


This study investigated the relationship between subjects’ felt authenticity (how close to their “true selves” they felt) and how they spent their time. It was hypothesized that people who spent more time doing activities they enjoy, social activities, and reflective activities would experience more authenticity whereas people who spend high amounts of time using electronics would experience lower authenticity. Participants completed two questionnaires; one measured the participants’ time uses and rated each activity along scales of importance to the subject, amount of time spent doing that activity, and desire to do the activity more or less often. The other questionnaire assessed their levels of authenticity. Results indicated that authenticity scores positively correlated with the number of hours spent doing homework and with the number of hours spent with friends, and negatively correlated with time spent playing video games. The level of participants’ authenticity and the importance ratings of homework and volunteering also had a positive correlation, and there was a negative correlation between authenticity scores and the rated importance of playing video games.  It is important to understand the factors that influence people’s levels of authenticity because high levels of authenticity indicate high levels of self-esteem, low levels of depression and stress, protection against mental health problems, and high life satisfaction. By unearthing the factors that affect authenticity levels, such as the way people use their time, psychological well-being can be increased.


Authenticity; Time; Positive Psychology

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