Time Perspectives and Decision Making

We often take time for granted, and how our perspectives of our past, present, and future can shape our lives.

How we plan for the future, how creative we are in the present, and how our past can influence our moods and attitudes are topics covered in a book on the psychology of time that was published in August of this year.

The book, The Time Paradox, by Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd, helps to explain such things as why the D.A.R.E. “Just Say No To Drugs” effort to educate teens on drug abuse was a failure – it focused upon a small percentage of students who are future oriented rather than the many who are present oriented. (Perhaps the New D.A.R.E. will fare better.)

The authors of the book gave a presentation at Google on the topic, and it’s one of the best videos I’ve seen this year. I’m running out to get a copy of the book it’s based upon in a few minutes.

The web site for the book includes the Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory (ZTPI) survey, which you can take to find out your scores in the different time perspectives. You may not only learn more about yourself, but also about others whom you interact with.

How you think about the past, the present, and the future can influence the decisions that you make in your life. A better understanding of how your perspective of time influences you could mean a happier, healthier, and more successful life.

Thanks to Kimberly for showing me the video.


Author: Bill Slawski

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