In their new book, The Time Paradox: The New Psychology of Time That Will Change Your Life (Free Press), Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd identify the six different ways that they feel people view time, USA Today reports. Boyd based the different types of outlooks on the 10,000 adults he surveyed over the last 30 years, the following are descriptions of each different outlook.
“Past-Negative”: These people tend to be more aggressive, anxious, and depressed. They tend to less conscientious, considerate, emotionally stable, energetic, and happy. They seem to be more likely to gamble and less likely to exercise.
“Present-Hedonistic”: This type is also more aggressive but contrasting the past-negative they are more energetic, impulsive, risk-taking, creative, and happy. They are less conscientious, shy emotionally unstable, and concerned with future consequences. Like past-negative they are more likely to gamble but also more likely to exercise, drink alcohol, use drugs, lie, and steal.
“Future”: This “type” is more energetic, conscientious, open, creative, and concerned with consequences. They are less aggressive, depressed, impulsive, risk-taking, and anxious. They seem to be more prone to using a day planner, doing well at school and at work, have higher self-esteem and less likely to lie and use drugs/alcohol.
“Past-Positive”: Their attributes are more conscientious, creative, stable, energetic, friendly, and happy. They are less likely to be aggressive, anxious, and depressed. Boyd and Zimbardo say that it’s good to be high on this one because it helps you self-confidence.
“Present-Fatalistic”: Like past-negative they are aggressive, anxious, depressed, plus being impulsive, shy, and have lower self-esteem. They tend to be less energetic, conscientious, emotionally stable, and concerned with the future. Worse tempers, lying, stealing, doing worse at school and at work characterize this group.
“Transcendental-Future”: This group is more spiritual/religious, concerned with the future. This is coupled with being less aggressive and impulsive. They are more likely to be Christian or Muslim and perform religious traditions at home.
The clashing of two people can be due to their differences in how they view time according to Boyd and Zimbardo. They also believe that many of the future obsessed parents who push their children to attempt to do 27 things at once just want their children to have a good future. Boyd and Zimbardo observed that current college students have been jaded by political and corporate corruption and are more depressed and angry.
(Elias, USA Today, 08/04/08)

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