The Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory originally set out 5, then 6 time orientations -with future negative added by Carelli to take us to 7:
For the present oriented they may focus on concrete factors in the immediate, sensory present while minimizing abstract qualities relevant to a decision that exists only in an anticipated future. It can be difficult for them to delay gratification and they may be easily distracted. They may be uninterested in considering the impact of their decisions today on future consequences.
For the future oriented the focus will be on reasoning, abstract ideas and a clear concern about consequences. They may be better able to focus on the importance of long-term goals e.g. how well adjusted their children will be following separation. They may be very focused on efficiency and micro-planning.
Next week, what does this mean in conflict and mediation?
In this new series, I will be exploring the work of Philip Zimbardo and his Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory.
You may recognise the Zimbardo name from the Stanford Prison Experiment. In 1971, in an experiment structured by Dr Philip Zimbardo, college students were randomly assigned roles as guards or prisoners in a mock prison. The experiment was abandoned after 6 days and attracted controversy.
During the experiment, Zimbardo says that he noticed that the students who were prisoners ceased to have regard to their past or future and in that short time began to focus on their present alone. Although the experiment was prematurely stopped, Zimbardo began to study time perception.
In his work, The Time Paradox, Zimbardo explains that time perspective has cognitive, emotional and social components. The formation of an individual’s perspective is influenced by various factors including: family of origin, cultural and social influences, personal experiences, professional training, etc.
Time perspective is a coherent framework we each use for living. The framework has been shown to impact attention, perception and importantly for mediators decision-making. Whilst this may be a personality preference it can also be influenced by situational forces.
Next week what are the 7 time perspectives?
Whilst you may experience a sense of relief following a difficult conversation it is worth taking some time to reflect and assess what happened.
We can helpfully prepare ourselves to do better next time, by asking ourselves some simple questions:
In a difficult conversation, we know that our emotions will be engaged. The question becomes how to manage them. In the next few posts, I will examine some of the ideas that may be helpful in regulating and understanding our emotions.
For today, here are my top five ways to regulate your emotions: