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The way you think about time has a big effect on behavior

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This is a fascinating video that looks at the different ways that human beings perceive time and the effects that these perceptions have on our behavior:

The video starts by identifying six ways to perceive time:

1) Looking at the past as “the good old times” (past positive)

2) Looking at the past as a time filled with regrets and failure (past negative)

3) Present Hedonistic – focused on maximizing immediate pleasure and minimizing immediate pain

4) Present Fated – things happen because of my conditions

5) Future oriented, working to succeed in the future. Resisting temptation.

6) Future oriented, focused on an afterlife

Some fun facts that come from the video:
- “Protestant countries have higher gross national products than catholic countries.” The protestant work ethic = work hard to succeed in the future.

- In some countries (e.g. Italy) there are regions that have different time perspectives. In Italy, the north tends to be future-oriented, while the south tends to be present hedonistic.

- You can measure the pace of life in different cities. In cities with faster pace of life, there are more heart attacks.

Starting around the 6 minute point there is a really interesting section on the effects of video games on thinking. Around the 7 minute point, time perspective has a big effect on teenage behavior. “Kids are totally different than we (parents) were.” At the 9 minute point it turns to family values.

[[[Jump to previous MYT - “Video games are dead”]]]

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