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The Harvard Values Project carried on in New Mexico during the 1950s attempted to measure orientation of time. The temporal dimension was subdivided three ways, past, present, and future, and primary and secondary foci for the culture groups of the areas were recorded. Mormons were found to be principally oriented to the future and secondarily to the present. The same is assumed to be true of Americans generally and it is further assumed that this orientation is the product of world-rejecting Christianity, which emphasizes the greater desirability of the next life. Future-Time orientation is also the product of Protestant ideas on the nature of earthly perfection as a preparation for the other world after this one.
Presented at the August 1970 Pecos Conference, Santa Fe, New Mexico.