Restricting future time perspective reduces failure to act after a missed opportunity.

Inaction inertia occurs when missing an attractive opportunity (vs. not having been offered it) decreases the likelihood of acting on another similar opportunity. We experimentally manipulated future time perspective to reduce inaction inertia. Middle-aged and older adults from the Health and Retirement Study were randomly assigned to imagining restricted or expansive time left to live, or to no instructions. Across age, imagining a restricted future (vs. the other two instructions) reduced inaction inertia and future time perspective. Imagining living longer increased future time perspective among relatively younger participants. Consequences of restricted time perspective for decisions and life regrets are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)