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Conceptualization and measurement of temporal focus: The subjective experience of the past, present, and future

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  • Shipp, Abbie J.
  • Edwards, Jeffrey R.
  • Lambert, Lisa Schurer

Abstract

Temporal focus is the attention individuals devote to thinking about the past, present, and future, and the concept is important because it affects how people incorporate perceptions about past experiences, current situations, and future expectations into their attitudes, cognitions, and behavior. However, temporal focus has not been clearly defined nor situated in a nomological network of constructs. In addition, existing measures of temporal focus suffer from various shortcomings. In this paper, we advance the concept of temporal focus by critically examining its conceptualization, developing a new measure of temporal focus (Temporal Focus Scale; TFS), and evaluating the validity (i.e., construct, convergent, discriminant, nomological, and predictive validity) of the TFS across four studies. We conclude that understanding how individuals focus their attention toward the past, present, and future clarifies their responses to explicit and implicit temporal information, which suggests that a variety of research streams would benefit from incorporating the concept of temporal focus.

Suggested Citation

  • Shipp, Abbie J. & Edwards, Jeffrey R. & Lambert, Lisa Schurer, 2009. "Conceptualization and measurement of temporal focus: The subjective experience of the past, present, and future," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 110(1), pages 1-22, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:110:y:2009:i:1:p:1-22
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Wu, Chia-Huei & Parker, Sharon & Wu, Long-Zeng & Lee, Cynthia, 2017. "When and why people engage in different forms of proactive behavior: interactive effects of self-construals and work characteristics," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 71991, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    2. Khachatryan, Hayk & Joireman, Jeff & Casavant, Kenneth L., 2013. "The Effects of Intertemporal Considerations on Consumer Preferences for Biofuels," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150334, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    3. Lord, Robert G. & Gatti, Paola & Chui, Susanna L.M., 2016. "Social-cognitive, relational, and identity-based approaches to leadership," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 136(C), pages 119-134.
    4. Cojuharenco, Irina & Patient, David & Bashshur, Michael R., 2011. "Seeing the "forest" or the "trees" of organizational justice: Effects of temporal perspective on employee concerns about unfair treatment at work," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 116(1), pages 17-31, September.
    5. Sieger, Philipp & Gruber, Marc & Fauchart, Emmanuelle & Zellweger, Thomas, 2016. "Measuring the social identity of entrepreneurs: Scale development and international validation," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 542-572.
    6. Hafenbrack, Andrew C., 2017. "Mindfulness Meditation as an On-The-Spot Workplace Intervention," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 75(C), pages 118-129.
    7. Avery, Derek R. & McKay, Patrick F. & Volpone, Sabrina D. & Malka, Ari, 2015. "Are companies beholden to bias? The impact of leader race on consumer purchasing behavior," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 85-102.
    8. Cardon, Melissa S. & Gregoire, Denis A. & Stevens, Christopher E. & Patel, Pankaj C., 2013. "Measuring entrepreneurial passion: Conceptual foundations and scale validation," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 373-396.
    9. Cantor, David E. & Blackhurst, Jennifer V. & Cortes, Juan David, 2014. "The clock is ticking: The role of uncertainty, regulatory focus, and level of risk on supply chain disruption decision making behavior," Transportation Research Part E: Logistics and Transportation Review, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 159-172.

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