A Watched Pot: How We Experience Time

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NYU Press, Nov 1, 2000 - Psychology - 190 pages
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Time, it has been said, is the enemy. In an era of harried lives, time seems increasingly precious as hours and days telescope and our lives often seem to be flitting past. And yet, at other times, the minutes drag on, each tick of the clock excruciatingly drawn out. What explains this seeming paradox?

Based upon a full decade's empirical research, Michael G. Flaherty's new book offers remarkable insights on this most universal human experience. Flaherty surveys hundreds of individuals of all ages in an attempt to ascertain how such phenomena as suffering, violence, danger, boredom, exhilaration, concentration, shock, and novelty influence our perception of time. Their stories make for intriguing reading, by turns familiar and exotic, mundane and dramatic, horrific and funny.

A qualitative and quantitative tour de force, A Watched Pot presents what may well be the first fully integrated theory of time and will be of interest to scientists, humanists, social scientists and the educated public alike.

A Choice Outstanding Academic Book.

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About the author (2000)

Michael Flaherty is Professor and Chair of Sociology at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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