Philip Zimbardo is perhaps the most distinguished psychologist alive today, having served as President of the American Psychological Association, and published several hundred professional articles and fifty books. A professor emeritus at Stanford University, Zimbardo has spent nearly 50 years teaching and studying psychology. His areas of focus include time perspective, shyness, evil and madness.

John Boyd received his PhD in psychology from Stanford University, where he studied with Zimbardo, and his BA in economics from UCLA. A frequent contributor to the scientific literature on time perspective, he was instrumental in the construction of the Zimbardo Time Perspective Inventory (ZTPI) and was the first to identify the Transcendental-future Time Perspective.

The Time Paradox


Philip Zimbardo
John Boyd


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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 exciting new ways.

In The Time Paradox, Drs. Zimbardo and Boyd draw on thirty years of pioneering research to reveal, for the first time, how your individual time perspective shapes your life and is shaped by the world around you. Further, they demonstrate that your and every other individual’s time zones interact to create national cultures, economics, and personal destinies.

You will discover what time zone you live in through Drs. Zimbardo and Boyd’s revolutionary tests. Ask yourself:

  • Does the smell of fresh-baked cookies bring you back to your childhood?
  • Do you believe that nothing will ever change in your world?
  • Do you believe that the present encompasses all and the future and past are mere abstractions?
  • Do you wear a watch, balance your checkbook, and make to-do lists — every day?
  • Do you believe that life on earth is merely preparation for life after death?
  • Do you ruminate over failed relationships?
  • Are you the life of every party — always late, always laughing, and always broke?

These statements are representative of the seven most common ways people relate to time, each of which, in its extreme, creates benefits and pitfalls. The Time Paradox is a practical plan for optimizing your blend of time perspectives so you get the utmost out of every minute in your personal and professional life as well as a fascinating commentary about the power and paradoxes of time in the modern world.

No matter your time perspective, you experience these paradoxes. Only by understanding this new psychological science of time zones will you be able to overcome the mental biases that keep you too attached to the past, too focused on immediate gratification, or unhealthily obsessed with future goals. Time passes no matter what you do — it’s up to you to spend it wisely and enjoy it well. Here’s how.

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