The development of a media timestyle based on time use and perceived time use

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Publication details

Vitartas, P & Scott, D 2008, 'The development of a media timestyle based on time use and perceived time use', paper presented to International Association for Time Use Research, Sydney, NSW, 1-3 December.


Media time use is of particular importance to advertisers and other users of the media. It has been of interest to researchers from the discipline of marketing where a number of developments in the theory of time use have occurred, in particular the call for researchers to incorporate subjective measures of time use and not rely solely on objective measures of time (Hirschman, 1987). Subjective measures include personality dimensions which have been recognised as affecting media time use and the term ‘timestyle’ has been used to capture the effects of individuals’ allocation of time. As timestyle is thought to influence a consumer’s time allocation to activities (Bergadaà 1990) and to direct time use, the concept is considered important in understanding the allocation of time to activities. While subjective measures can tap into peoples’ thoughts, values and beliefs, an examination of their behaviour will reflect these subjective dimensions of the individual. Therefore capturing time use of activities that reflect personality variables such as socializing, planning orientation, past/future orientation and perceived time pressure can be used to examine time use behaviour. The use of objective measures as surrogates for subjective factors of time use have not been examined previously. This paper presents the findings of a study investigating the elements of timestyle based on media time use drawn from the Australian time use studies. Based on the literature, a model of timestyle that includes perceived time pressure, social time, planning orientation and past/future orientation is proposed and tested. The results provide limited support for the four elements of the timestyle construct. Implications and areas for further research are discussed.