Dr. Tamar AvnetDr. Tamar Avnet, professor of marketing and department chair of marketing at the Sy Syms School of Business, has co-authored an article with Dr. Anne-Laure Sellier, associate professor of marketing at HEC Paris titled “Scheduling Style.” It will be published in the April 2019 issue of Current Opinion in Psychology. (Drs. Avnet and Sellier have had three papers published on this topic and have presented at many conferences together.)

To schedule activities and transition from one activity to the next, humans can rely on the external clock (clock-time style) or on their internal sense (event-time style). “This article,” Dr. Avnet noted, “discusses how relying on an external time cue versus an internal time cue can markedly shape the way people perceive the social world, beyond its mere purpose of organizing activities.”

The authors present research that shows that individuals’ reliance on clock-time or event-time is not a mere cultural artifact but also constitutes a way to self-regulate and that each scheduling style is akin to different lenses through which people consider the world: “Each style deeply and differently influences people’s sensation of control and their ability to savor positive emotions.”

How people schedule themselves has implications for the domains of creativity, consumer decision-making and management. The authors conclude that “it may be time to question the deep psychological implications of relying on clock-time versus event-time. It seems likely that either style can claim to be the ‘one best way’ to monitor time depending on the task at hand. The scheduling lenses that people wear in their daily lives may color their subjective experiences, from their simplest decision-making to their creative outbursts.”

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