Cottle's Graphic Test: Specifics of Time Perspective Indices



One of the most popular time perspective (TP) research methods is Cottle's Graphic Test or Cottle's Circles Test, where respondents are asked to draw three circles representing their past, present and future. Object of the current work is to describe this technique, methods of processing the data and connection of results gained with it with the results of other methods used to assess TP. This work presents results of two studies. Respondents were offered Cottle's Test and Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory (ZTPI) in A. Sircova's adaptation or «Life-Line» test. The participants were 245 people from 15 to 20 years old. Our results show that degree of time zones connectedness is the parameter of Cottle's test that is related to other methods used to assess person's TP. Type of instruction used with Cottle's Test influences both the degree of time zones connectedness and relation with ZTPI. ZTPI factors related to Cottle's Test results are: «Present Fatalistic», «Past Positive» and «Present Hedonistic». Results of the Cottle's Test show that the lower is significance of the past and the higher is significance of the future, the more time zones are connected. There were no gender differences shown in any of the Cottle's Test parameters. Three parameters of the «Life-Line» are related to the results of Cottle's Test: amount of connections between events of the whole life, amount of connections that person sees in his\her future and pessimistic view of the future.

General Information

Journal rubric: Psychological Diagnostics

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Belinskaya E.P., Davydova I.S. Cottle's Graphic Test: Specifics of Time Perspective Indices. Psikhologicheskaya nauka i obrazovanie = Psychological Science and Education, 2007. Vol. 12, no. 5, pp. 28–37. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Elena P. Belinskaya, Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Faculty of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, ORCID:, e-mail:

Irina S. Davydova, MA student, Russian Sate University for the Humanities, school psychologist, Secondary Comprehensive School No 199, Korolev, Russia, e-mail:



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