Considerations of Future Consequences (CFC Scale)

Background:

Given their intertemporal nature, one factor that predicts health behaviors is an individual’s Considerations of Future Consequences (CFC Scale) (i.e., the extent to which people consider the potential distant outcomes of their current behaviors and are influenced by those potential outcomes; Strathman, Gleicher, Boninger, & Edwards, 1994).    The Consideration of Future Consequences Scale (CFC) is a 12- item scale using 5- point ratings.  (1 = extremely uncharacteristic to 5 = extremely characteristic). An example of an item is “I consider how things might be in the future, and try to influence those things with my day-to-day behaviour.”

Psychometrics:

For psychometrics information see: Strathman, A., Gleicher, F., Boninger, D. S., & Edwards, C. S. (1994). The consideration of future consequences: Weighing immediate and distant outcomes of    behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 66(4), 742-752.

Author of Tool:

Strathman, A., Gleicher, F., Boninger, D. S., & Edwards, C. S

Key references:

Strathman, A., Gleicher, F., Boninger, D. S., & Edwards, C. S. (1994). The consideration of future consequences: Weighing immediate and distant outcomes of    behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 66(4), 742-752. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.66.4.742

Cauffman, E. & Steinberg, L. (2000). (Im)maturity of judgement in adolescence: why adolescents may be less culpable than adults. Behavioral Sciences & the Law, 18(6), 741-760. doi: 10.1002/bsl.416

Joireman, J., Sprott, D. E. & Spangenberg, E. R. (2005). Fiscal responsibility and the consideration of future consequences. Personality and Individual Differences, 39(6), 1159-1168. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2005.05.002

Sheina, O. & Martin, H. (2006). Temporal framing and the decision to take part in type 2 diabetes screening: effects of individual differences in consideration of future consequences on persuasion. Health Psychology, 25(4), 537-548. doi: 10.1037/0278-6133.25.4.537

Howlett, E., Kees, J. & Kemp, E. (2008). The role of self-regulation, future orientation, and financial knowledge in long-term financial decisions. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 42(2), 223-242. doi: 10.1111/j.1745-6606.2008.00106.x

Toepoel, V. (2010). Is consideration of future consequences a changeable construct? [Article]. Personality and Individual Differences, 48(8), 951-956. doi: 10.1016/j.paid.2010.02.029

Primary use / Purpose:

Designed to assess the extent to which people emphasize short-term or long-term consequences

Consideration of Future Consequences Scale

For each of the statements below, please indicate whether or not the statement is characteristic of you. If the statement is extremely uncharacteristic of you (not at all like you) please fill-in a "1”; if the statement is extremely characteristic of you (very much like you) please fill-in a "5". Use the numbers in the middle if you fall between the endpoints. Please keep the following scale in mind as you rate each of the statements below.

  • 1=extremely uncharacteristic
  • 2=somewhat uncharacteristic
  • 3=uncertain
  • 4=somewhat characteristic
  • 5=extremely characteristic
  1. I consider how things might be in the future, and try to influence those things with my day to day
  2. Often I engage in a particular behavior in order to achieve outcomes that may not result for many years.
  3. I only act to satisfy immediate concerns, figuring the future will take care of itself.
  4. My behavior is only influenced by the immediate (i.e., a matter of days or weeks) outcomes of my actions.
  5. My convenience is a big factor in the decisions I make or the actions I
  6. I am willing to sacrifice my immediate happiness or well-being in order to achieve future
  7. I think it is important to take warnings about negative outcomes seriously even if the negative outcome will not occur for many
  8. I think it is more important to perform a behavior with important distant consequences than a behavior with less-important immediate
  9. I generally ignore warnings about possible future problems because I think the problems will be resolved before they reach crisis level.
  10. I think that sacrificing now is usually unnecessary since future outcomes can be dealt with at a later
  11. I only act to satisfy immediate concerns, figuring that I will take care of future problems that may occur at a later
  12. Since my day to day work has specific outcomes, it is more important to me than behavior that has distant

Scoring -- Generally, the CFC Scale is scored so that higher numbers indicate a greater consideration of future consequences. To do this, items 3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 12 should be reverse-scored. This can be done by creating a new variable which is "6-response" for each of the reverse-scored items. These seven new variables should then be summed along with the five items which need not be reversed (items 1, 2, 6, 7, 8).