Dating customs in different countries
This may be reflected in something as simple as the speed at which they walk, their attitudes to working, or just how accurately they keep their clocks.Social psychologist Robert Levine has devoted much time to analyzing how different countries and different cultures deal with time. For example, the fastest people were found in the wealthier North American, Northern European and industrialized Asian nations like Japan; the slowest were in non-industrialized and third-world countries, particularly those in South and Central America and the Middle East.One way of looking at cultural attitudes to time is in terms of time orientation, a cultural or national preference toward past, present, or future thinking.The time orientation of a culture affects how it values time, and the extent to which it believes it can control time.Future-orientated cultures tend to run their lives by the clock.The United States is one of the fastest paced countries in the world, perhaps partly due to the fact that many Americans are always looking to the future, striving for the “American Dream”.
The Hopi appear to have little or no sense of linear time as most of the Western world knows it, and it comes as no surprise to learn that their religious beliefs include a cyclic view of time, similar to ancient Hindu and Buddhist belief in the “wheel of time” (see the section on Ancient Philosophy).In today’s globalized world, understanding the time orientation of a culture is critical to the successful handling of diplomatic and business situations.Misunderstandings of chronemics can lead to a failure to understand intentions, especially in business communication.It is a culture that values busy-ness, which equates a hectic and frenzied life-style with success, status and importance.Japan is also an extremely time-conscious culture, although the Japanese probably lay more emphasis on time management and efficient lifestyles than Americans, and consequently may feel less constantly rushed and frustrated.
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The United States often vies with Japan for the fastest pace, although Switzerland is also a top contender, mainly because of the accuracy of its clocks.