A Psychologist’s View of Time
Many different people have dedicated their lives to the study of psychology, even before it became its own specialized field of study. Though the makeup and focus of the field has evolved over the years, psychology can now be defined as the study of behavior and mental processes, or simply put, how we think about things. How do we think about time, and how does it affect how we act and how we interact with our world? Time, is one of the few things that is both limited and irreversible. It is also something that we think about often, sometimes without meaning to or even recognizing that we are doing so. People like Jean Piaget and Carl Jung have been noted for attempting to sort through the mess of problems and perplexing situations that can be associated with how we perceive time. Personality and age may be two of the reasons that quickly come to mind when we are faced with differing perceptions of time. But why isn’t time simply absolute to begin with? The young and the old tend to have a very different sense of the value of time or how time should be spent, perhaps due to life altering crises that occur in midlife. The earth doesn’t change its speed for every person that walks upon it; rather it is our minds that give us the sense that it does. Sometimes it is a person’s age that leads them toward religion, which can color the way that we view life now, as well as what might come in the time after death. The human mind is what allows us to communicate with and think about the world around us, so it only makes sense that the study of the mind—namely psychology—would be highly concerned with another important force on earth: time.