Why did your colleague behave nicely to you yesterday, but made a nasty comment to you today? Is the mere possession of power or the exercise of power that drives leader selfish behavior? Is delayed positive feedback more beneficial in promoting prosocial behavior than immediate negative feedback? Would a punishment feel more satisfying when delivered all at once or in small bits across time? Is working during time off, such as national holidays, increase or decrease motivation towards one’s work?
With my research, I aim to provide answers to questions like the ones above and, in doing so, contribute to research in the domains of time, ethics, and power. I view these as three key elements that often guide organizational and social interactions: time reflects when and for how long something happens; power reflects the degree to which individuals are or feel they are differentiated hierarchically; and ethics reflects the distinction of right and wrong. I study how these three elements together but also independently affect judgment, motivation, and behavior, primarily at the individual level. My work on time is two-fold. First, I focus on the experience of time as a within-individual phenomenon to capture and explain changes in behaviors and experiences over time and within the same individual. With this work I use time as a medium for change rather than as a primary construct. Second, I study the psychology of time and temporal cues: how individuals approach time, subjectively, and also how different temporal cues impact motivation, behavior, and performance. In my work on ethics and power that builds upon my dissertation research, I aim to provide a more balanced understanding of the effects of power and whether and how power could be used to advance common well-being.