Foresight is the ability to predict, or the action of predicting, what will happen or what is needed in the future. Studies suggest that much of human daily thought is directed towards potential future events. Because of this and its role in human control on the planet, the nature and evolution of foresight is an important topic in psychology. Recent neuroscientific, developmental, and cognitive studies have identified many commonalities to the human ability to recall past episodes. Science magazine selected new evidence for such commonalities one of the top ten scientific breakthroughs of 2007. However, there are fundamental differences between mentally travelling through time into the future (i.e., foresight) versus mentally travelling through time into the past (i.e., episodic memory).
Foresight has been classified as a behaviour (covert and/or overt) in management, a review, analysis, and synthesis of past definitions and usages of the foresight concept into a generic definition, in order to make the concept measurable.
Specifically, foresight has been defined as: "Degree of analyzing present contingencies and degree of moving the analysis of present contingencies across time, and degree of analyzing a desired future state or states a degree ahead in time with regard to contingencies under control, as well as degree of analyzing courses of action a degree ahead in time to arrive at the desired future state."
- Suddendorf & Corballis (2007). "The evolution of foresight: What is mental time travel and is it uniquely human". Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 30, 299-313.
- Addis DR, Wong AT, Schacter DL. "Remembering the Past and Imagining the Future: Common and Distinct Neural Substrates During Event Construction and Elaboration". Neuropsychologia 2007; 45:1363-1377.
- Hassabis D, Kumaran D, Vann SD, Maguire EA. "Patients with Hippocampal Amnesia Cannot Imagine New Experiences". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2007; 104:1726-1731.
- "BREAKTHROUGH OF THE YEAR: The Runners-Up". Science (American Academy for the Advancement of Science) 318 (5848): 1844–1849. 21 December 2007. doi:10.1126/science.318.5858.1844a. Retrieved 26 June 2014.
- Suddendorf T. "Episodic Memory Versus Episodic Foresight: Similarities and Differences". Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, 1, 99-107.
- Amsteus, M. (2008) "Managerial foresight: concept and measurement". Foresight: the journal for future studies, strategic thinking and policy, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 53-66.
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