Different Perceptions of Time

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One would think that all people see and perceive time the same way, but there have been some studies suggesting that people who live closer to the equator view time a little differently. Since all of the seasons are pretty much the same the closer you get to the equator, time doesn't really look like its passing all that fast. This is why psychologists theorize that people closer to the equator aren't as future-oriented as us Northerners.

There are also thought to be time perception differences between people of different religions. Some religions teach people to think that they need to work extremely hard to prove their worth to their deity. This changes how those people perceive time and how much time they have to do as much as they can.

So this just makes me wonder, how does my time perception as an atheist and someone who lives in a place where all the seasons are very distinct differ from other people?

There are also some places that don't have any words for the future tense. How crazy would it be to go to those places and live there?

Note: All information is from this video, its pretty interesting if you have 10 minutes to spare.


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This blog seems interesting to me because it is hard to believe that something like religion could affect how you precieve time. It makes me wonder whether it is an extrordinary claim. But ignoring that aspect thinking of how me as a Christian and Minnesotan could effect my percieving of time is quite interesting. I wonder really how different it could be from the person who wrote this article, who is just as close to the equator as me, but is of another religion. This really has me thinking and wanting me to do more research on the topic.

This is really interesting! Last summer, I was able to go on a trip to Puerto Rico. My group was supposed to catch a ride to a different part of the island, but some of the group was running late. Our leader was freaking out that we were going to be late, but the guy driving us just kept telling her not to worry that we were now on island time, where everything moves slower so we should not worry about being a little late. As a group of Minnesotans, this was like a new idea, people telling a group of 24 people not to worry at all because we were running late, even though they would have to wait for us.
As for religion, ideally Christians should be able to enjoy life in the present as everyday is a gift from God, but also look towards a future in heaven, as that is where we are suppose to "store up our treasures". But, none of us are perfect, I know I am definitely not, and we often get caught up in the day to day craziness of everyday life and forget to enjoy it. I am unsure on how time plays out in other religions, but it is definitely food for thought.

It makes sense that northerners are more future oriented than people who live by the equator. One plausible reason is that people who live in an environment like ours have to prepare for different seasons like winter. A couple hundred years or so you would have to make preparations for the winter like storing food and supplies that are only available in the summer. If you failed to it could mean your death. But for an equator dweller would at the minimum have to make preparations for that day.

It is very interesting that living in a region where time seems to pass slower can result in more emphasis on the present moment, and less of an eye towards the future. It is interesting that the more important the present moment seems, and the more abundant time seems, that one would develop an attitude and a lifestyle that is not future oriented. In Northern cultures, all decisions and actions are done in the perspective of "how will this affect me/others in the future?"as opposed to a psychology that is formed around the appreciation for seemingly infinite moments at hand.

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This page contains a single entry by katae001 published on February 28, 2012 8:14 PM.

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