The Evolvement of Future Orientation: Infancy Through Middle Childhood
Although especially relevant to the adolescent period, the capacity for orienting to the future is innate, identified in early infancy, and – as already noted in Chap. 1 – underlying it are neurophysiological processes generated in the cerebral cortex (Brunia & Boxtel, 2001; Wentworth, Haith, & Karrer, 2001). However, interacting with other innate abilities (such as memory and language), interpersonal experiences, and cultural values its expressions vary with age. Given that much of this book applies to adolescence and emerging adulthood, the key questions addressed in this chapter pertain to the developmental periods from infancy to middle childhood. Specifically they ask what are the early indications of future orientation in infancy, how do language, memory, and interpersonal factors in early childhood affect the notion of future and future thinking, how do various aspects of future orientation develop in middle childhood, and how do they change their expression, scope, and instrumentality?