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Time perspective, awareness of narrative identity, and the perceived coherence of past experiences among adults
journal contributionposted on 01.01.2019, 00:00 authored by David HallfordDavid Hallford, N J Fava, David MellorDavid Mellor
The ability to mentally project oneself into the past and future is theoretically central to perception of a salient and cohesive narrative identity. Despite these theorized links, to date, the relationship between time perspective and narrative identity has not been empirically studied. We examined the association between these constructs in a sample of 212 participants (Mage = 28.3 years, SD = 10.9) who completed the Balanced Time Perspective Scale and the Awareness of Narrative Identity Questionnaire (ANIQ). Congruent with our hypotheses, stronger past perspective and a bias for past perspective over future were associated with a stronger awareness of having a narrative identity and the perception of temporal, causal, and thematic coherency of past experiences. When the past and future time perspective scales were examined together as predictors of the ANIQ subscales, past time perspective emerged as a significant predictor of stronger awareness of a narrative identity through dimensions of perceived coherence of past experiences, whereas future time perspective was a weak, direct predictor of lower awareness. The findings indicate that individual differences in time perspective, and in particular a bias for past time perspective, are associated with a potentially more adaptive perception of narrative identity.