Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Time Paradox: The New Psychology of Time That Will Change Your Life

by Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd
Free Press, 2008
Review by Marion Ledwig, Ph.D.

Extract from review:

The authors of this milestone-volume on what kind of effect our attitude towards time has on our whole psychological well-being and life with its twelve excellent chapters are the professor emeritus at Stanford University and past president of the American Psychological Association Dr. Philip Zimbardo and his former graduate student at Stanford University and currently the research manager at Google Dr. John Boyd.

The full review is available here.

There's a video below which shows Zimbardo and Boyd giving a talk about the book at Google. Here's a link to the Talks@Google website.


Martin Ryan said...

There is also an Authors@Google talk by Daniel Ellsberg, the same Ellsberg of the Pentagon Papers and the Ellsberg Paradox.


Liam Delaney said...

hmm..ive got a new name for the blog "The Geary Institute Blog: Ideas that Will Change your Life". Kind of true in a sense.

Michael Daly said...

"what i'm going to show you is data for the first time that is astoundingly higher than psychology has ever seen before"- interesting way to lead into his results!!

Some of the key points- being past negative or present fatalistic is bad.. ok.. being future orientated and moderately present hedonistic is good (especially for creativity).

Conscientiousness has recently been shown to predict longevity. Zimbardo states this is mediated by health behaviours but in most cases this hasn't been shown. He also states that it's most likely that the main causal factor is time perspective as it is strongly related to conscientiousness and health behaviours. The same could be said of self-control so it's a weak argument until research contrasts various approaches.

The idea that the ability to shift time perspectives is important is nice. When there are ideas like mindfulness that claim present orientation is positive and other approaches linking immediate gratification to living in the here and now it's clear there is a distinction. This has been proposed to be living IN the present versus living FOR the present. The ability to recognise this and to switch between time perspectives efficiently seems to be central.