Past, Present, and Future Perspective as a Predictor for Basic Income: On the Relationship between Time Perspective on Basic Income

Maatje, L. (2017) Past, Present, and Future Perspective as a Predictor for Basic Income: On the Relationship between Time Perspective on Basic Income.

Abstract:The subject of a Basic Income (BI) has become increasingly discussed in the political debate. A BI is a monthly stipend paid to every adult citizen, regardless of what they decide to do with it. Research suggests a BI could grant more financial freedom and increased health amongst people. However, it could also work counterproductive, as it takes away a strong motivator to work: money. A few trials have been run in the past, knowledge on the psychological effects or attitudes of those living with a Basic Income is lacking. One way to study potential effects of BI, is called futuring. With futuring, people imagine a possible future for themselves and then respond to questions or assignments as though they are actually living that future. By imagining the future, researchers may be able to find some attitudes towards and psychological effects of a future event, like the Basic Income. This study aimed to add to the discussion and research in this subject, by using focus group discussions to study people’s attitudes towards the BI and a questionnaire studying the Time Perspective. It will look at a relationship between a person’s Time Perspective and their attitudes towards the Basic Income. To measure an individual’s Time Perspective, Zimbardo and Boyd’s (1999) Time Perspective Index (ZTPI) was used. Making use of both focus group discussions and questionnaires, this study used 14 participants to study people’s general attitudes towards the BI. Two discussion groups consisting of seven participants each were held, during which the participants were asked to imagine a future in which they received a Basic Income, and then they were invited to elaborate on the BI. Afterwards, the ZTPI questionnaire was filled in. The ZTPI exists of 56 questions, that are divided among 5 sub-scales: (1) Past Negative (PN), (2) Past Positive (PP), (3) Present Fatalistic (PF), (4) Present Hedonistic (PH), and (5) Future (F). The focus group discussions were transcribed and coded with Atlas.ti, resulting in a code scheme of 6 codes. These codes were (1) Basic Income Positive, (2) Basic Income Negative, (3) Basic Income Conditional, (4) Future (F), (4.5) Freedom to do other things, and (5) Stress Relief. The results showed that most people were fairly positive about the BI. Some people were more sceptical and had more critical questions about the BI, such as those high in the Past and Present Positive orientation. However, everyone liked the idea of BI in some shape or form, in the end. Due to a small participant group, the results can be questioned. To ensure deeper and more meaningful results, an experimental trial of the BI is recommended, as it is very difficult to predict or draw conclusions from something that lies in the future.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology BSc (56604)
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