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Abstract of scientific paper in the peer review journal, Personality and Individual Differences:

“Development and Validation of a Three-Dimensional Measure of Thinking Perspective”

In brief, the Theory of MindTime™ is a model of human cognition positing that each of the temporal frames that our species has conceptualized—future, past, and present—correlates with a specific set of cognitive aptitudes. As a result of the ability to conceptualize a historical past, people are able to reference, consciously or unconsciously, the storehouse of information that exists in their memories, and collect and analyze new information as needed in order to inform behavior and decision-making. As a result of the ability to conceptualize a future that has yet to occur, people are able to imagine an infinite set of future possibilities and engage in creative and innovative speculation that allows them to adapt to ever-changing environmental circumstances. Finally, as a result of the ability to conceptualize a temporal space that we think of as the present, individuals are able develop action plans, structure our environment, and organize resources to execute those plans.

Our model proposes that although human cognition includes all three thinking perspectives, individuals differ in the degree to which they utilize each of the three thinking perspectives, differences that can be measured and quantified.

The TimeStyle Profile™ that comprises the GPS for the Mind™ forms the foundation of our technology. It is a scientifically validated instrument designed to measure each of the three thinking styles described above, and to generate TimeStyle Profiles based on the degree to which individuals utilize future, past, and present thinking perspectives.

The TimeStyle Profile consists of two versions: an 9-item short form that is primarily used for online applications, and a 18-item long form that is primarily research based and from which the items from the short form are drawn. The items on both forms were developed by the MindTime Project and consist of items assessing Future thinking, Past thinking, and Present thinking, respectively. We have three published manuscript describing the approach and findings in large-scale studies undertaken to validate the positive correlations between MindTime’s thinking perspectives and various measure of individual differences (the NEO (big five) - Fortunato & Furey, 2009, 2010, 2011) in Personality and Individual Differences. In addition, several more manuscripts are in preparation, with an overarching theoretical paper, describing the Theory of MindTime (Furey & Fortunato), due for submission early in 2012.

The development and validation of the TimeStyle Profile involved an iterative process across several studies. An initial pool of items was generated based on the conceptual domain briefly articulated above. Coefficient alpha estimates of reliability and principle axis analyses were computed to narrow down the list of items to those having the best psychometric properties.

In each subsequent set of studies, the psychometric properties of the items retained in each previous set of studies as well as the language and content of each item to assess, were used to determine whether to include or revise an item. In addition, as data were analyzed and examined, additional items were generated for further examination. Our goal was to eventually derive a set of items that represented the content domain of each of the three thinking perspectives as broadly as possible while retaining excellent psychometric properties.

The empirical strategy employed in each study was as follows: Coefficient alpha estimates of reliability, corrected item-total correlations, and principle axis analyses using varimax variable rotation were computed. At each step, items were eliminated from further consideration if scores on those items (a) correlated poorly with scores on the appropriate summated scale (i.e., corrected item-total correlations < .30) in the reliability estimate analyses, (b) correlated poorly with the hypothesized latent variable in the principle axis analyses (component correlation coefficients < .40), or © correlated highly on a second latent factor (i.e., component correlation coefficient > .35).

Coefficient alpha estimates of reliability for the final set of items in the long form were:
.90 (95% CI = .89 to .92) and .93 (95% CI = .91 to .94), respectively, for the Future items;
.90 (95% CI = .89 to .92) and .93 (95% CI = .91 to .94), respectively, for the Present items;
and .84 (95% CI = .82 to .86) and .85 (95% CI = .83 to .87) respectively for the Past items.

Convergent and discriminant validity was assessed in each study by comparing individuals’ scores on the three thinking perspective dimensions with scores on a variety of other individual difference measures, including measures of time perspective, emotional stability, extroversion, conscientiousness, agreeableness, openness to new experiences, resiliency, optimism, cynicism, hardiness, and Type AB personality. The results of these analyses are available upon request.

MindTime® is a registered trademark of MindTime Project.


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