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

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  2,191 ratings  ·  165 reviews
Your every significant choice -- every important decision you make -- is determined by a force operating deep inside your mind: your perspective on time -- your internal, personal time zone. This is the most influential force in your life, yet you are virtually unaware of it. Once you become aware of your personal time zone, you can begin to see and manage your life in exc ...more
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published August 5th 2008 by Atria Books (first published 2008)
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3.75  · 
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 ·  2,191 ratings  ·  165 reviews

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Jan 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
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 rated it did not like it
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
Sep 30, 2012 rated it liked it

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.
Apr 22, 2012 rated it it was ok
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
Sep 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
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Mar 14, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Library Journal magazine
Jul 11, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 24, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Feb 16, 2009 added it
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
Mar 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
May Ling
Jun 13, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: business
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
Sep 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 29, 2011 rated it liked it
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,
Jul 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: math-physics
"Yahoo searches sex 1 billion, money 3 billion, time 7 billion."

"Time perspective is personal attitude which gives order, coherence and meaning to our lives."

"What individuals believe happened in the past influences their present thoughts, feelings and behavior more than what did happen."

"Small changes have big consequences."

"People live their lives based on what they believe to be true."

"People for whom time is passing too quickly tend to feel that they need to do everything all at once."

This review has been moved to:
Belal Al Droubi
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
i'd give the book 3.5 but i couldn't
honestly this is a good book.
i definitely enjoyed reading it.

the first half is great,filled with knowledge, science facts, statistics and experiments on psychology and how time perspective influences our behavior,personality and personal success

unfortunately the second half is horrendously written and its nothing but random stories and opinions from the authors in which they attempt to "put the science into action" and "assist you to improve your time perspect
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
The idea that people have different time perspectives that affect outcomes in life was new to me but makes sense. This is possibly a more useful way to categorize people than the various personality tests that are more familiar.
Wendy G
Oct 16, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erika RS
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Oct 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 21, 2010 rated it liked it
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
Oct 12, 2011 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
Dec 02, 2009 rated it liked it
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
Dec 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting and insightful read. Recommend to everyone.
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Time Paradox is very different from many books in cognitive science and behavioral psychology genre in that it deeply examines personal time perspective as an underlying force that influences behavior and attitudes in people. Rather than focus on well-worn topics like organization, work ethic, and personality type in explaining differences in human ability and outcomes, Zimbardo identifies an underlying mental model that is the root of one's life choices: time perspective. The author identif ...more
In this book, Zimbardo and Boyd expose a model for describing our relation to time and how that affects the decisions we make and what we value in our lives. The model doesn't try to be The One Truth, it is just a way to look at things and explain behaviors. It shows:

* How being obsessed with the Past blinds you to the Future consequences of your actions, or rather, prevents you wholly from even thinking they're worth considering.
* How it's impossible to change behaviors of Present-focused peopl
Aug 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Three stars doesn't reflect my overall enjoyment of the book. Rather my expectation that it was going to ignite a paradigm shift in how I thought about time. And then it didn't.

The book is interesting and it's based on research (almost to a fault), so there's not too much fluff or conjecture.

What I was hoping for: a neuroscientific perspective on how we view time, how we experience time, etc for the layperson. Paired with research and insights into how to use that information to change mindsets
Aug 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
I got this book in English version, but before reading it i checked out youtube video to listen to Mr Zimbardo's lecture and got the basic idea more easily about the whole book.
So there is a text about 6 different kinds of how we view time: Past-negative, Past-positive, Present-fatalistic, Present-hedonistic, Future, and Transcendental future. some 60 questions to know you are high i which category.
Interesting to view a couple in different categories might have communication problems if one liv
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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.
“While no one can change events that occurred in the past, everyone can change attitudes and beliefs about them.” 8 likes
“That very day I resolved not to save all of my change until I turned forty. I resolved to have what I termed a little midlife crisis each day of my life in the hope of avoiding a larger one once I reached forty.” 1 likes
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