Individuals’ understanding of wealth and power largely determines their use of resources. Moreover, the age range of wealth and power holders is increasing in modern societies. Thus, the current study examines how people of different ages understand wealth and power. As varying future time perspective is related to changes in prioritised life goals, it was tested as a potential mediator of the age differences. A total of 133 participants aged 18–78 years were asked 8 open-ended questions regarding their understanding of the possible use and desired use of wealth and power, after which they reported their future time perspective. Compared with possible use, the participants mentioned relatively more prosocial elements when they talked about their desired use of the resources, especially power. The older adults expressed more prosocial understanding in regard to the desired use of wealth and the possible use of power compared to their younger counterparts. The age differences were fully mediated by future time perspective. The results suggest that age is a critical factor that influences individuals’ conceptualisation of wealth and power. Life-span developmental stage and future time perspective are important factors to consider for explaining individual differences in the exercise of wealth and power and for promoting their prosocial usage. Copyright © 2016 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
CitationLi, T., & Tsang, V. H.-L. (2016). Age differences in the understanding of wealth and power: The mediating role of future time perspective. European Journal of Ageing, 13(4), 349-360.
- Future time perspective