ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

心理科学进展 ›› 2024, Vol. 32 ›› Issue (1): 27-38.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2024.00027

• 研究构想 • 上一篇    下一篇


孙晓敏1(), 杨舒婷1, 孔小杉1, 刘臻臻1, 马榕梓1, 原悦1, 张南1, 蒋欣颖1, 曹沛伶1, 鲍瑞佶2, 蔺义芹1, 李宁1, 李志航1   

  1. 1北京师范大学心理学部, 应用实验心理北京市重点实验室, 心理学国家级实验教学示范中心(北京师范大学), 北京 100875
    2香港大学商学院, 香港 999077
  • 收稿日期:2023-04-19 出版日期:2024-01-15 发布日期:2023-10-25
  • 通讯作者: 孙晓敏
  • 基金资助:

Conceptualization of time poverty and its impact on well-being: From the perspective of scarcity theory

SUN Xiaomin1(), YANG Shuting1, KONG Xiaoshan1, LIU Zhenzhen1, MA Rongzi1, YUAN Yue1, ZHANG Nan1, JIANG Xinying1, CAO Peiling1, BAO Ruiji2, LIN Yiqin1, LI Ning1, LI Zhihang1   

  1. 1Faculty of Psychology, Beijing Key Laboratory of Applied Experimental Psychology, National Demonstration Center for Experimental Psychology Education (Beijing Normal University), BNU, Beijing 100875, China
    2Faculty of Business and Economics, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong 999077, China
  • Received:2023-04-19 Online:2024-01-15 Published:2023-10-25
  • Contact: SUN Xiaomin


时间贫困是日常生活中时间不够用的弥散性感受, 会危害到人们的身心健康与幸福感。目前时间贫困的概念结构仍不清晰, 与幸福感的关系结论不一致且缺乏因果证据与机制认识。本项目拟厘清时间贫困内涵, 构建多维时间贫困理论模型, 据此编制多维测量量表并搭建国民时间贫困数据库; 以稀缺理论为基础, 探讨时间贫困对个人和人际幸福感的影响, 及过度生产率取向的可能中介作用; 并基于溢出−交叉模型, 探讨时间贫困对家庭幸福感的影响及其机制。

关键词: 时间贫困, 幸福感, 过度生产率取向, 稀缺理论, 溢出-交叉模型


In today’s fast-paced world, increasing numbers of individuals are facing time poverty, i.e., having too much to do and not enough time. It can impact people's cognitive processes and behaviors by affecting their attention. However, the extant literature provides only a limited understanding of the influence of time poverty and its effects on individual multi-faceted well-being. Therefore, a comprehensive investigation of the concept of time poverty and its impact on well-being is of great importance theoretically and practically. The current study intends to present a three-dimensional theoretical model for the construct of time poverty from an integrated perspective, aiming to explore its effects on multi-faceted subjective well-being and investigate the potential mechanisms by which time poverty reduces well-being based on scarcity theory.

Specifically, the current study proposes a three-dimensional structure for the concept of time poverty, which includes length, intensity, and quality. Most researchers agree that spending an excessive amount of time on paid work or unpaid domestic work and having an insufficient amount of free time leads to time poverty. Moreover, the number of tasks to be completed per unit of time may be an independent source of pressure resulting in the perception of time poverty. The stressful pace caused by over-rapid task completion and too short intervals could increase the sense of time poverty. Lastly, the quality dimension of time poverty comprises time integrity, time autonomy, and time synchronization. Low time quality could worsen the perception of time poverty. Based on the three-dimensional model of time poverty, the current study aims to develop a time poverty scale and construct a large-scale Chinese time poverty database. This database is designed to collect demographic information as well as the level of time poverty of representative samples, aiming to explore the dominant type of time poverty for different demographic groups and trace the dynamic changes in time poverty over time.

Furthermore, the current study proposes that time poverty can have a significant impact on people’s well-being. Time poverty can develop a scarcity mindset, leading people to focus on the scarcity of time. Consequently, they overemphasize productivity, resulting in a strong inclination of completing more tasks in a shorter amount of time. Such a mindset shifts people’s attention from the activity’s process to its results, reducing intrinsic motivation and, as a result, ruining people’s well-being. An excessive focus on productivity can also harm interpersonal and family well-being by underestimating the importance of investing time and energy in nurturing relationships, thereby lowering the quality of relationship-oriented interactions. Therefore, we argue that by promoting the over-productivity orientation, time poverty can adversely affect individual, interpersonal, and family well-being. Furthermore, time poverty in one spouse's workplace produces an over-productivity tendency which then spills over to the family environment and is conveyed to the other spouse in their daily interactions. Such processes are likely to negatively influence both parties’ well-being.

Overall, the current project develops a three-dimensional time poverty theoretical model, based on which a time poverty scale will be developed. With the new scale, a large-scale database will be constructed. The project will explore the experiences of different groups of people with distinct characteristics in Chinese society, and how such experiences influence personal, interpersonal, and family well-being. The results of the current project are of great importance for not only the successful coping of time poverty for individuals but also for societies aiming to improve the well-being of their people.

Key words: time poverty, well-being, over-productivity orientation, scarcity theory, spillover-crossover model