The perception of time varies among cultures. Some cultures operate on actual clock time while others are event-centered. Event-centered time is less structured than clock time and focuses only on current events and circumstances. For example, in Africa, time is flexible, and it is based on events in the past, present, and the future. Time is perceived through the life of the individual and the tribe. (Shiraev & Levy, 2010) How might your culture’s perception of time impact your life?
The cultural influence on time is not limited to differences in minutes and seconds. This perception might also affect behavior and attitudes if a culture is short-, middle-, or long-time oriented. Studies suggest there is a correlation between time and lifestyle, such as the pace of life, health, and happiness.
Consider the importance of the scholar-practitioner understanding a client or research populations’ perception of time to in terms of appointments, business organization, and risky health behaviors.
For this Discussion, consider your own ideas about time and how culture might influence the perception of time. Use your Final Project culture of interest and select another culture with a differing time orientation.
With these thoughts in mind:
Post by Day 4 an explanation of how culture might influence the perception of time. Provide an example from two cultures and explain how each culture differs in its members’ perception of time. Support your responses with references to the Learning Resources. Respond to a colleague that selected a different culture. Support your responses using the Learning Resources and the current literature.
Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.
Respond by Day 6 to at least one of your colleagues’ postings in one or more of the following ways:
- Ask a probing question.
- Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.
- Offer and support an opinion.
- Validate an idea with your own experience.
- Make a suggestion.
- Expand on your colleague’s posting.
Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you have learned and/or any insights you have gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made.
Shiraev, E. B., & Levy, D. A. (2010). Cross-cultural psychology: Critical thinking and contemporary applications (4th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
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