Top critical review
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on 4 July 2012
Have you ever had those times when hours seem to last minutes and minutes seem to last for hours? Have you ever looked back and wondered where the year has gone? If your answer is "yes" then you are not alone, most of us have.
This book looks at a lot of the current research which is going on into time perception. Since most of the way we perceive is down to psychology in one form or another I thought this would be an interesting book. It is interesting ... to a point, but it is also, unfortunately, dull and dry in the majority of places.
I know that psychology can easily slip into the realms of dull and dry, but little seems to have been done within this tome to excite the reader, or to make them want to read on.
The author quotes significant portions from other people's work to support the ideas, and I always wonder about someone who writes a book which seems to be so dependant on the work of other people.
There is a noticeable amount of repetition in the book that I could really have done without, and that would have reduced the book by around a quarter.
The way we perceive time can be influenced by a multitude of things including:
- how tired/awake you are,
- your workload,
- how stressed we are
- emotional state
- special/notable events occurring at the same time
- and so on
The more things we have on our minds and the more tasks we have to do during our days, the more "time flies".
One of the tasks the author asks of the reader is to try to name the month and year of a list of events. I could name one - but not for the reasons given in the book. On Friday the 29th of August, 1997 my mother fell of a ladder and smashed her foot, broke her arm, shoulder and several ribs. Two days later (Sunday 31st August 1997) a friend of the family phoned up at 6 am and told us to turn on the news and it was saying that Princess Diana was injured (it later turned out that she was dead).
In fact there are a number of things I can remember about that week, my mother's 2 operations, one on the Saturday and again on the Monday (Princess Diana's death fell between the two). There was also Mother Teresa's death announced at the end of the news on Friday the 5th of September as an "in other news" summary.
The only reason I remember these things is due to my mother's accident and hospital stay. Other than that I have a dreadful memory for birthdays, anniversaries, etc, it is a bane in my life.
All that being said this book vould possibly make an interesting, if dry, starting point/resource for anyone looking at time perception.