POLPAN Seminar: Operationalization of temporal orientations: presentation of proposed survey questions

On April 30th Ewa Jarosz presented a paper: ‘Operationalization of temporal orientations: presentation of proposed survey questions’.


Time perspective plays an important role as an underlying dimension of wide range of social phenomena, from family-making process to consumption or professional trajectories. It was defined as the deep layer of a culture (Hall, 1984), related to the main social principles, such as the form of religion (Durkheim, 1919), values (Tarkowska, 1992), social status attainment (Rifkin, 1987), or health-related behaviours (Fuchs, 1982; Zimbardo and Boyd, 1999). Time-related preferences, such as ability to delay gratification, have been shown to be crucial for personal and professional success (see e.g. Mischel, 1989), while dysfunctional time-use patterns were proven to hinder efforts for upwards mobility (Norton, 1989). Including questions on temporal perspective in social research allows thus to grasp the underlying mechanisms that drive social actions, and better understand social stratification processes, and complex social reality in general.
In my model of temporal orientations I distinguish between four dimensions that organize human perception of time: temporal orientedness (future or present) and temporal frame (event time or clock time). Using cross-validated psychological surveys (e.g. Zimbardo, Boyd, 1999; Stouthard and Peetsma, 1999), and findings from other research, including marketing studies (e.g. Bearden, Money and Nevins, 2006), cultural studies (e.g. Hofstede and Bond, 1988), anthropological explorations (e.g. Mushharbash, 2007, Levine, 1997), and economic analyses (e.g. Bauer and Chytilova, 2009) I operationalize these dimensions in terms of specific survey questions. Next, based on the survey data analysis, by the means of Confirmatory Factor Analysis, I plan to reconstruct latent factors, which will be used to describe temporal characteristics of social classes. The seminar will be dedicated to the presentations of the proposed survey questions. The survey is financed from the Preludium grant awarded by Narodowe Centrum Nauki.
Key words: temporal orientations, time perspective, time, inequality