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Time Warped: Unlocking the Mysteries of Time Perception

Time Warped: Unlocking the Mysteries of Time Perception

4.4 7
by Claudia Hammond

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Drawing on the latest research from the fields of psychology, neuroscience, and biology, writer and broadcaster Claudia Hammond explores the mysteries of our perception of time in her book Time Warped.
Why does life seem to speed up as we get older? Why does the clock in your head move at a different speed from the one on the wall? Why is it


Drawing on the latest research from the fields of psychology, neuroscience, and biology, writer and broadcaster Claudia Hammond explores the mysteries of our perception of time in her book Time Warped.
Why does life seem to speed up as we get older? Why does the clock in your head move at a different speed from the one on the wall? Why is it almost impossible to go a whole day without checking your watch? Is it possible to retrain our brains and improve our relationship with it?
In Time Warped, Claudia Hammond offers insight into how to manage our time more efficiently, how to speed time up and slow it down at will, how to plan for the future with more accuracy, and she teaches how to use the warping of time to our own benefit.

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Radio host Hammond explores various phenomena related to the perception of time by drawing on research from the fields of psychology, neuroscience, and biology. She investigates why time seems to pass more quickly as one ages, and passes more slowly during fearful situations and/or following social rejection, and how subconscious time perception plays a critical role in everyday tasks. This is an ideal read for those looking for science-based theories of time perception without the scientific jargon, and will appeal to readers with a curiosity about the role of time in their everyday lives. Hammond suggests time perception is altered among individuals with depression or ADHD; this insight also makes the book valuable for psychologists and counselors. Managers or professionals concerned with time management will also benefit. VERDICT Despite the common belief that time moves at a constant pace, Hammond demonstrates how life's circumstances can make minutes seem an eternity and decades the blink of an eye.—Ryan Nayler, Native Counselling Svcs. of Alberta, Canada
Publishers Weekly
Whether you conceive of time as a “breeze” or a “crushing weight,” Hammond’s book is worth yours. Focusing on the experience of time rather than its “objective reality,” the award-winning science writer and BBC broadcaster demonstrates how the timely coordination of brain, nerves, and muscles is essential for everything from reading time tables to understanding spoken language. But, as everyone knows, time rarely seems to pass at a constant rate—it seems to slow when you are stressed, and go too fast while you are in vacation mode. As such, Hammond explores how time perception (or “mind time”) is “elastic”; investigates the various ways in which people conceive of time in spatial terms; and examines the various causes for the experience of distended or contracted time—depression, ADHD, chemical processes in the brain, and even temperature can fool us into the belief that time is speeding up or slowing down. Along the way, readers are introduced to curious characters like Bob Petrella, whose hyperthymesia makes it impossible to forget anything, and Michel Siffre, a French speleologist who spent months living underground to determine whether humans have an internal clock. This lively introduction to the psychology of time perception is an intriguing take on the fluidity of reality. Agents: David Miller, the Garamond Agency; Will Francis, Janklow & Nesbit (U.K.) Ltd. (June)
Jascha Hoffman
“In Time Warped, Claudia Hammond… has a steady touch in conveying the research, adding user-friendly charm even to exhaustive descriptions of the mechanics of boredom. A chapter on visualization is particularly intriguing.”
Maria Popova
“…a fascinating foray into the idea that our experience of time is actively created by our own minds and how these sensations of what neuroscientists and psychologists call “mind time” are created.”
“A well-researched meditation on how we see the future…. There’s one great question of time, one which of course this book cannot answer, but on which it gives a great deal of much-needed perspective: ‘How much do I have left?’ ”
Kirkus Reviews
Science broadcaster Hammond (Emotional Rollercoaster: A Journey Through the Science of Feelings, 2007) reports from the front lines of research into the subjectivity of the experience of time and its weird elasticity. As the author demonstrates, our experience of time is particularly mind-bending: a complex mixture of memory, attention and emotion, which, when in synchronicity, give time its familiar flow. However, when one or more are out of kilter, our perception of time can warp dramatically. Hammond has an aptly liquid writing style, one that encourages engagement and makes the narrative memorable. Memory appears to play a significant role in our time experience, for studies indicate that the gathering of memories slows time and that forsaking new memories speeds time up. Focusing intensely, as in a scary episode, in which you block out other reference points that convey time's passage, slows time, but paying acute attention can also make time fly. Hammond tours the latest advances in neuroscience, but some of the material feels radically preliminary and is not always entertaining or groundbreaking. The author, however, ably captures both the details of research--"recent experiments suggest that a moment lasts between two and three seconds, which aligns not only with what we see in poetry, but also in music, speech, and movement. We seem to segment activities into a space of two or three seconds"--and broad visualizations of time. Her survey of investigations into how we perceive the future, from picturing the grade we will receive on an exam to suicide plans, feels almost too fragile to behold. Hammond also shows how readers can change their relationships with time, examining this challenge through a variety of problems with time perception, including "Time Is Speeding Up," "Too Much to Do, Too Little Time" and "A Poor Memory for the Past." Occasionally uneven but mostly enjoyable, thought-provoking reading.

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HarperCollins Publishers
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Meet the Author

Claudia Hammond is a writer, broadcaster, and psychology lecturer. She is the voice of psychology on BBC Radio 4 where she is the host of All in the Mind and Mind Changers. She is the author of one previous book, Emotional Rollercoaster, and is also a part-time member of faculty at Boston University in London. Hammond has won the British Psychological Society's Public Engagement & Media Award, the Society for Personality & Social Psychology's Media Award, and the Public Understanding of Neuroscience Award from the British Neuroscience Assocation.

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Time Warped: Unlocking the Mysteries of Time Perception 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I found the NY times review intriguing, and decided to have tis book on my nook, because I could read it at my leisure, even in bed because of the glow light. The thesis of the book was interesting. I found it easy to read and understand. I have already suggested it as reading for those of us in that age bracket who see time passing all to quickly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hammond explores a fascinating and original topic, and at its most incisive points (such as explaining why time seems to speed up as we age) this book really shines. However, not all of her arguments seem well-reasoned. This book also would have benefited from tighter editing, as Hammond repeats herself frequently in the text. Thought provoking and worth a read, but not essential reading, either.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Birds of a feather poop together