In the above video, Professor Philip Zimbardo discusses some intriguing theories about how people’s time perspectives affect their behavior. He posits that belief systems regarding time influence everything from work ethic to health.
Incidentally, Professor Zimbardo is also the same person who ran the Stanford Prison Experiment, which is featured in the video below.
Both perspectives present some intriguing theories about human behavior. I’m curious to hear what readers think about each video.
Neat post, thanks, Sean. I had the lecture on in the background– am not gonna watch that documentary, but I know the story.
Much to react to in that lecture, on individuals, cultures, and changes in culture over time.
I’m sympathetic to his point that our more wired culture affects our brains and our discourse, as I wrote in a post that I guess was a negative review of a negative review, defending Nicholas Carr’s “The Shallows”. I’m also sympathetic to his point about how countries can have certain cultures– but it’s important to note, as he kinda does at the end regarding our wired youth, that cultures can change over time.
I don’t know exactly how Florence does these days in those studies of Italians’ views on time, as it’s in Tuscany just north of where the country would be split, but as the Renaissance was getting going, Florentines viewed the carefree German way of existence as a respite from the fast pace of Italian life. And 100 years ago, people thought that Catholics and Asians would never be able to accommodate democracy because of their views on fate & authority.
My apologies for the long delay.
I completely agree that cultures change over time. Like you, I found this study rather fascinating. I don’t know if I would except the premise whole hog, but it is certainly interesting (and worth sharing).
No worries on delays, real life happens sometimes. And yes, it’s hard to buy the whole thing hook, line, & sinker, but a lot to think over. In particular, I’d stress in response to that lecture the importance of variance within a culture– and even in a given individual, over time, or in different contexts.
Societal pressures, or new habits, or neat pictures can change our temporal frame of reference:
My perspective of time makes it hard for me to decide to watch 40 minutes of video…but I’ll try to in the next few days!
It’s totally worth it, Scott. Zimbardo does some very interesting studies.