The Theory of Mindtime: The Relationships Between Thinking Perspective and Time Perspective

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Personality and Individual Differences

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According to the Theory of MindTime (6, 7 and 8), (a) three distinct patterns of thinking – Past thinking, Present thinking, and Future thinking – evolved in concert with the ability of Homo sapiens to engage in mental time travel (e.g. Suddendorf & Corballis, 1997) and (b) measurable individual differences exist in the extent to which people utilize the three thinking perspectives. In this manuscript, we compare and contrast the three thinking perspectives with the constructs of time perspective and time orientation. In addition, we examine the construct validity of scores on a three-dimensional measure of thinking perspective – the TimeStyle Inventory – with scores on Zimbardo and Boyd’s (1999) Time Perspective Inventory. Data were collected from 813 undergraduate students. In summary, our findings provide support for the conceptual distinction between the two constructs as well as the construct validity of scores on the TimeStyle Inventory.