As paradoxical as that sounds, people who volunteer their time actually feel like they have more free time than other busy people who don’t donate their time, Cassie Mogilner, Ph.D., of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and her colleagues find.
The researchers believe that volunteering helps increase a person’s sense of competence and efficiency, stretching out their perception of time and making their schedule feel more manageable. Giving time away as a volunteer improved individuals’ subjective sense of free time more than spending time on themselves or even being given extra ‘free’ time, PsychCentral reported July 12.
The study will appear online in the journal Psychological Science.
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