Personality Traits Impact Alcohol Consumption through Subjective Time

In: Timing & Time Perception
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  • 1 Department of Psychology, University of Nantes, France
  • 2 Department of Psychology, University of Québec in Montréal, Canada
  • 3 Universidad de la República de Uruguay, Uruguay

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We aimed to investigate (1) bivariate associations between alcohol use, time perspective, temporal competency, and personality traits; (2) the extent to which different temporal scales predicted alcohol use in order to select constructs most related to alcohol use; and (3) the most related temporalities as mediators between personality traits and alcohol use. French (n = 389) and Canadian (n = 478) college students responded to questionnaires online. Analyses included (1) correlations between measures; (2) three multiple regressions in which different sets of temporalities (ZTPI, TCT-5D, a combination of scales) predicted alcohol use; (2) five multiple parallel mediator models, in which one big-5 trait was entered as a distal factor leading to alchol use through the parallel mediators of temporalities. Most temporal dimensions were correlated with alcohol use and a unique set of personality traits. The combination of temporal scales (past negative, present hedonist, anticipation, temporal rupture) predicted alcohol use better than any other instrument. All personality traits explained alcohol use through different sets of temporalities. Cases of indirect only and competitive mediation were observed. Personality traits explained alcohol consumption through the multiple parallel mediators of temporalities. In some cases (neuroticism, openness and agreeableness) temporalities had to be taken into account in order to observe an effect of personality on alcohol use which helps explain inconsistencies in the literature. Future work may benefit from taking into account combinations of temporal dimensions in order to best explain (drinking) behaviors, including but not limited to the Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory.

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