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Time Perspectives Warm-Up
When you think of the past, do you
mostly focus on the positives or
What is more important to you: your
present or future self? Why?
How much control do you feel you have
over your future? Why do you say this?
What does the time perspective survey show about
Based on the overview of time perspectives, do you
think this survey accurately describes you?
How do you compare with the “Ideal” Time
Perspective? What can you do to become closer to the
The ‘past-negative’ type. You focus on negative
personal experiences that still have the power to upset
The ‘past-positive’ type. You take a nostalgic view of
the past, and stay in very close contact with your family.
You tend to have happy relationships, but the downside
is a cautious, “better safe than sorry” approach which
may hold you back.
The ‘present-hedonistic’ type. You are dominated by
pleasure-seeking impulses, and are reluctant to
postpone feeling good for the sake of greater gain later.
You are popular but tend to have a less healthy lifestyle
and take more risks.
The ‘present-fatalistic’ type. You aren’t enjoying the
present but feel trapped in it, unable to change the
inevitability of the future. This sense of powerlessness
can lead to anxiety,depression and risk-taking.
The ‘future-focused’ type. You are highly ambitious,
focused on goals, and big on making ‘to do’ lists. You
tend to feel a nagging sense of urgency that can create
stress for yourself and those around you. Your
investment in the future can come at the cost of close
relationships and recreation time
The “Life Beyond Death” type: You are more
concerned with the spiritual world and believe that life
after your death is more important than this life.
Zimbardo’s Ideal Mix of
High on past-positive. Moderately high on future. And
moderate on present-hedonism. And always low on
past-negative and present-fatalism.
So the optimal temporal mix is what you get from the
past -- past-positive gives you roots. You connect your
family, identity and your self. What you get from the
future is wings to soar to new destinations, new
challenges. What you get from the present hedonism is
the energy, the energy to explore yourself, places,
Time Perspective Review
How do you compare with the optimal time
Which perspectives do you think are most important to
Which time perspective is most tied with your
happiness? How can you use this information to
improve your happiness?
Which time perspective would you want to change?