FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

 

1. Why is Futures Consciousness important and how can it be useful for me?

Having an understanding of the development of your own Futures Consciousness is an important step in bridging the gap in our understanding of the relationship between oneself and the wider world, and the complex interlinkage between the past, present and future. It is a capacity that can be developed with sustained practice and reflection, which can lead to more thoughtful decision making, an improved understanding of how futures can be influenced, and an appreciation of the wider influence our dispositions have on our behaviour as well as the consequences our behaviours can have. To find out more about the Five Dimensions of Futures Consciousness, read here and to read more about the research behind the concept see here.

2. Why do individuals not have access to the test and results?

The Futures Consciousness Profile Database is a research tool for practitioners, students and researchers affiliated with accredited institutions. The participants who’s results are added to the database are from selected or randomized samples. To avoid disrupting ongoing research and the introduction of self selection bias, the test is not currently open to general visitors of this site.

3. What is futures studies and what discipline or approach is the futures consciousness profile rooted in?

Futures Studies includes research in the areas of strategic foresight, anticipation and long range planning, to name a few. It includes a transdisciplinary approach, an appreciation of complexity and the rigorous analysis of beliefs about the future as the subject of research. In addition, the futures consciousness test is based on research in personality and social psychology. You can read more about the scientific background in here.

4. Can I use this test as a corporate client? What are my usage rights?

Corporate entities are eligible to apply for use of the tool as an internal research tool, or as a part of their practice. For details see terms and conditions and the pricing section.

5. Why should I register as a user?

As a registered user, you will gain access to the researcher workspace, where you will be able to create and manage test groups, customize survey questions, and carry out surveys to your selected group of respondents.

  • Your respondents will receive their personal profile results in a graphic form like this. In addition, they receive a small info sheet on the meaning of the five dimensions and what kind of exercises they can do to improve their future consciousness.
  • The customization of survey allows for up to 200 additional questions to be added in a variety of formats typical in survey research. The custom questions can be saved and edited easily as a set.
  • The results from your test group can be obtained from the site administrators. They will be available in CSV format.

6. How can I practice futures consciousness on my own?

Activities for practicing each of the Five Dimensions of Futures Consciousness are provided along with an individual’s test results.

7. I still have questions, how can I contact a human?

Please contact fcprofile@utu.fi. Please allow 1-7 working days for a response.

 

Test Taker Qs

1. How will my test data be used? Will my test data be anonymous? Who can see my data?

In brief, data collected through the survey tool will only be used in aggregate for research purposes, it will not be sold to third parties and cannot be used to identify individual respondents. For more information see the Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions.

2. Do I need to keep a record of my password/personal key somewhere?

When you are asked to complete the FC survey, you will be asked to input a group key. You will only need to do this one time. The key will be provided by your test coordinator alongside the URL of the test site.

If you are taking part in a project that asks for you to complete the test multiple times over a certain period of time, you will be asked for your email address after you have completed the first test. A link to the follow-up test will automatically be sent to your address, and it will only become active after a certain period of time as established by your test coordinator. Please do not delete the email with the follow-up test link and check your spam folder if you do not seem to have received the email.  Please contact your test coordinator if the problem persists.

3. How can I save my results?

After you have completed the survey, you will have the option to download your results.

4. What result would be considered high and what result would be considered low?

It should be noted that in self reported testing, all test results are specific to each individual test taker only and can only be compared to others in aggregate. A higher score for one person may not necessarily mean that they have a higher futures consciousness when directly compared to another person with a lower score. It is generally more useful for an individual to use the results as a way of reflecting critically on one’s own way of thinking and behaving. With this in mind,  a score of four or more is generally exhibited by advanced users of futures thinking, either in their profession or as a major aspect of their day-to-day thinking. A score of around two would be sign that that dimension of futures consciousness is underdeveloped and would benefit from practice and exercise.

5. I have a low result in X, what should I do to develop that dimension?

When you receive your test results, an example exercise is included for the development of each dimension. Taking time to explore that exercise in detail and reflect on the process is advisable. There are also numerous books available that delve deeper into the significance of each of the dimensions, ask your local librarian to help you find out more. Alternatively, your test coordinator may be more than willing to suggest readings, courses or activities with which you may engage.

6. I have been asked a question I do not feel comfortable with, can I report the question? If so how?

Please send an email to fcprofile@utu.fi to contact a site administrator who will review your report within 1-7 working days.

 

Registered User Qs

1. What are the requirements of registering as a user?

To register as a user, you will need to submit evidence of affiliation with an organisation or institution engaged in research, education or practice. An individual will need to provide contact details and assume responsibility for the ethical conduct of the use of the survey tool and data.

Use of the tool must be in accordance with strict ethical principles as well as respect for individual participants data protection rights. Please see the Terms and Conditions for details of the terms of use.

2. What are the benefits of registering as a user?

As a registered user, you will gain access to the researcher workspace, where you will be able to create and manage test groups, customize survey questions, and carry out surveys to your selected group of respondents.

  • Your respondents will receive their personal profile results in a graphic form looking like this. In addition, they receive a small info sheet on the meaning of the five dimensions and what kind of exercises they can do to improve their future consciousness.
  • The customization of survey allows for up to 200 additional questions to be added in a variety of formats typical in survey research. The custom questions can be saved and edited easily as a set.
  • The results from your test group can be obtained from the site administrators. They will be available in CSV format.

3. How do I conduct a pre / post test?

Pre-post test can be used in research that involves testing participants with a set interval of time between the first and second test, typically with some intervention or participative workshop staged in the interim.

Currently, the possibility in the system to do this automatically, is not functioning correctly. If you want to carry out pre/post test, we recommend to use the one-time test for two times and add a question where the respondents will fill an id code. This code could be created in a way they only can do it but does not allow personal recognition. For example, filling in two last letters of their first name, birthday date in two digits and the number of letters in their name. So, for John Smith born 12 March the code would be hn129. It is important that they will be able to fill in the same code the second time they fill in the survey.

4. How do I involve students in a classroom test activity if they do not wish to consent to taking the test?

It is possible for individuals to follow along by viewing the  demo version of the survey available here. You may also share with the students the Futures Consciousness Profile report you receive at the end of your test. That report does not have any of your personal results in it.

5. I want my personal contact information to be removed from the user registry. How do I enact my right to be forgotten?

Please contact the site administrators using the contact form to enact your right to be forgotten as per your personal data protection rights. Do note that if your personal data is deleted from our user registry, we will not be able to contact you or credit you later if the data you collected is used for publications.

6. What kind of custom questions can I add to the test? What kind of questions are not permitted?

A range of standard research survey questions formats are available including multiple choice, rating scale, likert scale, dropdown and open questions.

Questions that break the researcher code of ethical conduct or could be used to identify an individual are not permitted and may be removed by the administrators. Data gathered from custom questions is not included in the database for comparison purposes.

7. Why can I not get a CSV file with the responses to the demographic questions?

Certain combinations of infrequently occurring demographic data points would enable the identification of individuals without their consent, in order to protect privacy and maintain our assurance of anonymity, as such, the CSV files do not include demographic data. For research purposes, these files can be requested for from the Database administrators.

8. Why does this site require payment to use its tools?

The Futures Consciousness Profile Database site charges a scaling database administration fee to ensure that the data is of excellent quality, to ensure that the database is maintained across its intended long term lifecycle (20+ years), and to provide funding for future updates that would enable enhanced functionality. Read more about Pricing.

9. I have a group with high privacy protection requirements, can I use this site? Is it possible to make a group with no group identification?

It is possible to test a group with no group identification, please contact us at fcprofile@utu.fi for the groupkey. In such cases the test coordinator will not be able to receive the group data for themselves, nor will any average results of the group be calculated. The respondents only receive the results for themselves.