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

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  1,545 Ratings  ·  129 Reviews
Now in paperback, this breakthrough book on the new psychological science of time by one of the most influential living psychologists—the New York Times bestselling author of The Lucifer Effect—and his research partner launched on the front page of USA TODAY "Lifestyle" with a Time Survey and on CBS Morning Show.

This is the first paradox of time: Your attitudes toward time
Paperback, 400 pages
Published July 7th 2009 by Atria Books (first published 2008)
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Jan 17, 2015 Nikki rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this last week or so, before the terrible events in Paris. At the time I thought of it as a self-helpy kind of book, with some relevant psychology; I picked it up because I’d watched some interviews with Philip Zimbardo about the Stanford Prison Experiment, which has always been fascinating to me. I wanted to see more of his work, I guess; get a feel for how a respected psychologist could create a situation which was so evil and not notice it without outside help, get a feel for what work ...more
Jan 22, 2009 Carrie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was looking for the positive antidote to Zimbardo's Lucifer effect, and since I'm a chronic procrastinator with ballooning anxiety issues, I figured unraveling the time paradox so as to change my life wouldn't be a bad place to start. Problem is, the book never really got going. I kept waiting for that big ah-hah, but instead I got some fairly common-sense ideas about how to have a positive outlook on time.

I did learn a couple things - some about time and some about myself.

(1) A past-negative

I was very disappointed w this book. I really liked The Lucifer Effect but this book really seems to have very little that wasn't obvious.
Mar 30, 2016 Lauren rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: old
I quite enjoyed reading this book, so if a star-rating is an attempt to reflect the reading experience I'd be forced to give it five our of five. However, I feel I ought to talk more about the merits and faults of the book itself, which ends up falling squarely at the "eh" point on the meter.

When I first heard that the famed Philip Zimbardo was tackling the subject of time in psychology, I was so excited that I stayed up late one night listening to hour-long lectures on the internet and immediat
Nov 01, 2008 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
For those who have studied psychology as an undergraduate or graduate student, you know Zimbardo, and probably from peer-reviewed journals. This book is a nice gift to the mass market. Zimbardo attempts to write in a way that is digestible to the general public, but certainly the scientist in him shows. I find his work fascinating. The use of individuals' time perspectives to describe their abilities to understand, engage in, and respond to problems, both at the individual and societal levels, i ...more
Nov 18, 2012 Mag rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, science
Each one of us has a different relationship to the present, past and future. We may be classified as predominantly: present, past or future oriented. Then this orientation may be fatalistic or positive. Most of us are mixtures of the above, but we all seem to have a dominant tendency. For the record, futures are the healthiest, presents most inclined to be late or take drugs, and pasts (fatalistic) to be stuck in life and depressed.

The new Zimbardo-Boyd book is a crossover of a popular science
Library Journal magazine
Managing Editor Heather McCormack has noticed the increasing sophistication of the self-help genre: "Zimbardo's book goes beyond the usual do-this, not-that approach to incorporate actual science on improving one's life."

What can explain the behavior of suicide bombers, successful investors, and depressives? According to psychologists Zimbardo (emeritus, Stanford Univ.; The Lucifer Effect: Understanding How Good People Turn Evil) and Boyd (director of research, Yahoo!), it’s their attitude regar
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The Time Paradox The New Psychology of Time That Will Change Your Life by Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd

This book is about changing your perspective on time. It focuses on different views of the past, present, and future. The basic views discussed are Past-negative, Past-positive, Present-fatalistic, Present-hedonistic, Future, and Transcendental future. This is an organization schema which I find interesting, but a bit contrived.

The authors claim that having an overly present view of time can le
What a fascinating book! I learned to see time management in an entirely new way. Rather than a "how to fix this problem" book, the authors explain how our perception of time affects how we live as individuals and how members of entire cultures view and interact with each other based on perception of time. In addition to helping readers see how to recognize the value of time, the authors discuss the best ways for readers to get the most out of the time they have, based on the individual's time p ...more
Jan 21, 2016 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
The recommendation here, based on extensive research, is to increase your self-awareness and enjoyment of life by cultivating a combination of positive recollection and re-framing of your past (past- positive), a healthy enjoyment of the present (present hedonism) and a wise investment of future-oriented time perspective.

Counterproductive time perspectives (like past negative and present fatalism) left unattended will probably continue to shape your life negatively. The simple remedy offered her
Jan 29, 2011 Dana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book required a lot of TIME to read - I have been reading it for months! Yet I found it worthwhile enough to keep going and I am glad I did - some of the thoughts really did "change my life" as the authors claimed. It helped me to better understand my own personality type and how that may complement/conflict with other people. I also realize that my personality and time perspective are changing as I get older - and that is a good thing. Here are some key points I took away:

1) "What you are,
Oct 28, 2008 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I often think about time, how it's a currency more valuable than money (an idea the authors confirmed for me!), how often people abuse and waste time, how sad it makes me to hear people wish time would pass by quickly when faced with boredom or something's like wishing your life away. But I'm off topic. This book--especially the first half--is fascinating. I never considered how each person has a dominant time frame and how this perspective influences every decision in life. I th ...more
Aug 12, 2011 Jennifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, nonfiction, psych
Really solid theory and research on our perspectives of time and what that entails (or at least implies), from its links to personality traits to explanations for suicide terrorism. As a psychology student, this was the perfect balance for me to learn the proper psychology while still being relatively easy to read/understand.

I am a little surprised by the lukewarm reviews, but it seems most came into the book with certain expectations because of the cover or Zimbardo's name/fame. This is NOT a s
This review has been moved to:
May 23, 2014 N. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Certainly I've expected more from Zimbardo. The first section of the book was not bad at all, actually it was quiet informative and insightful. I liked Zimbardo's classification of the different time perspectives, and sure you may discover a lot about your own time perspective, that may even surprise you.
Its the second half, that the book became more of a mission of maximizing the number of pages, in which most chapters came more like self help books rather than psychology, or at least not the s
Admittedly part of the reason the rating is so low is that I expected something academically more. This book is more of a self help than a treatise on time constraints and more a discussion of how different types of people think about time. It's not quite self-help and not quite enough to make you feel like you got something truly cerebral and life changing. That said, it is an interesting framework to help a person realize there are multiple ways of looking at the same sort of thing called life ...more
Erika RS
Jan 02, 2013 Erika RS rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was full of good content that was lost in the presentation. Even when I first got the book (as a promotional item), I was suspicious of it. The title and the reviews on the back work together to make it sound more self help oriented than science oriented. The content supported this instinct. The opening chapters on the different time perspectives are well written, but the rest of the book contains a bunch of loosely related ways to use time perspectives to improve your life. They would ...more
Apr 01, 2011 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this so long ago. I remember thinking of all sorts of things I'd want to say about it when I finished it. Now I've forgotten most of them. I wouldn't say that understanding The Time Paradox will change your life. I will say that while I was reading it, I couldn't stop thinking about it. The primary thesis is that how we think about time has an enormous influence on our lives. Being present, past or future oriented correlates with one's outlook on the world.
While I was struggling with a g
Nov 18, 2011 Esther rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The second time I read a book by Zimbardo (and certainly not the last!).
His way of explaining psychology to people with little or no professional knowledge is amazing. It is easy to follow, interesting and scientifically founded at the same time.
Though not quite as intense and shocking as the "Lucifer Effect", I found "The Time Paradox" more useful on a personal level.
While learning that different attitudes towards the past, the present and the future influence our behaviour, our reactions an
This book was pretty good, though it didn't have the tone I was expecting, like HOW to adjust your "time zone" if you feel you are a bit off. Personally, I think I veer too much into "future time", and would like some ideas for finding balance, and also interacting with the other types. But this was less a personality book and more some historical and factual information loosely based on these time theories. Some of the sections, like the suicide bomber part, were jarring and didn't seem to fit ...more
Laura (b00k-witch)
The Time Paradox determines first of all, what your most prominent attitude to time is and explains how this affects behaviour. The remaining sections of the book detail with coherent examples how this information affects your attitudes on past, present, future, money etc ...

It's not a how-to guide in the general sense, the way the information is presented is very much "here is the information, here is how this information can be detrimental/help you and it's up to you to decide to use the info
Feb 16, 2014 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The authors define six different time perspectives, provide a tool for measuring how strongly you hold each perspective, then describe how different time perspective profiles deal with life differently. They do prescribe an optimal time perspective profile and offer advice on how to move towards that profile. All of this is done with easy-to-understand reviews of studies and experiments. In spite of Dr. Zimbardo's creds, this is mainly a self-help book, but one with a measured, valuable take-awa ...more
Oct 14, 2016 Aydin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The new definition of time in psychological theme, which change your vision about how we get involved in time, and how we commonly trapped by our mind.

Philip Zimbardo and John Boyd, both are exploring about the different types of human with respect to their idea about their life, and divide people in three or more specific four categories; positive-past attended, negative-past attended, future attended, and transcendental now. The differences and specific characteristics of each class help us un
Jul 08, 2014 Crispy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
What is the new psychology of the time paradox? I still don't know... there's nothing whatsoever counter-intuitive presented in this book and it certainly doesn't deliver the "new" psychology promised by the title. The new research around the ZTPI isn't adequately explained and almost all of the other studies discussed are time-worn classics. Things get steadily worse as the book devolves into speculation and the worst sort of self-help nonsense. Some passages read more like newspaper horoscopes ...more
Jan 09, 2015 Marc rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
A decent read, though I would have liked to seen more specific strategies on how to improve our "general time perspectives." They share some generalities, but not how to integrate them into our necessarily busy lives.

For example: "take one day a weekend and don't plan anything for it--live in the present" (paraphrasing the last part).

Well, this presupposes several things:

1. We generally only get 2 days off a week b/c of the necessity of working in our 40+ hour a week culture.
2. Thus, there need
Jan 12, 2016 Nicole rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting and insightful read. Recommend to everyone.
Esther Lee
Sep 26, 2015 Esther Lee rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology
書裡面有附一些小測驗,測驗結果我的分數由高到低分別為:超驗未來型-過去正面型-現在享樂型-未來型-現在宿命型-過去負面型。對於此結果我並沒有感到特別訝異,因為信仰的關係,我一直把眼光放在人生的另一端。既然我的人生是為永恆,當然無時無刻為進入永恆來準備。John Newton曾說:「我的日記裡只有兩天,今天,及『那一天』(即審判日)。」這個想法深植我的腦中,但這說法又像是未來型的說法。事實上,當我在閱讀這本書的時候,我深深覺得這些
Jan 15, 2015 Josh rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was hoping for a lot more from this then I ended up getting out of it. I was expecting something more along the lines of perception of time, rather than perspective of time.

The book covers the various perspectives of time that Zimbardo has researched. They are past negative, past positive, present-hedonistic, present-fatalism, future, future-transcendental. Think of each perspective as a separate scale. Like most psychological measures, some people score high, some low, and most somewhere in t
Dec 24, 2014 Julien rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was rather disappointing.
The good part:
- great vulgarization of some psychological studies related to time (Zajonc, Bragh, Kahneman & Tversky...)
- interesting analysis of different time perspectives and their effect on people; as well as their implications for policies, current laws, and measures such as drug prevention. The authors for instance make a point that anti-drug campaigns are adapted for futures - people which mostly adopt a future time perspective, and suggest that thei
Dr. Lloyd E. Campbell
My son-in-law Mike and my friend Cynthia HATED this book. Both very bright people, Mike disliked what he saw as an absolutist view not befitting scientists, while Cythia thought the authors wanted all of u to be like them--reflective well-heeled college professors with few real monsters from their past nor present threats living in Palo Alto. I enjoyed the book more than they did, perhaps because I have lower standards. I found the exercises for dealing with past unfortunate experiences helpful ...more
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Dr. Philip George Zimbardo is an American psychologist and a professor emeritus at Stanford University. He is president of the Heroic Imagination Project. He is known for his Stanford prison study, and authorship of various introductory psychology books and textbooks for college students, including The Lucifer Effect and The Time Paradox.
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“While no one can change events that occurred in the past, everyone can change attitudes and beliefs about them.” 4 likes
“A life well lived is the best antidote to that fatal truth. Be active, not a passive worrywart. Find magic in the moment, joy in making someone smile. Listen to a lover’s sigh; look into the dancing eyes of a child you made feel special. Most of all, marvel at the wonder that eons of evolutionary time and all your unique experiences have joined to comprise the symphony that is YOU.” 1 likes
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