Marsilius Lecture 2023/24Time Constructs. A Critical Concept in Human Functioning
Frank C. Worrell, PhD
Professor of School Psychology in the Berkeley School of Education at the University of California, Berkeley
Thursday, 25 January 2024, 4pm
The Great Hall of the Old University
Time plays an important role in our day to day lives, and the concepts of past, present, and future take on greater significance as we age. Scholars of human behavior have recognized that time is a potent psychological construct for almost two centuries. James Mill has a section on time in his 1829 book, Analysis of the Phenomena of the Human Mind, and William James has a chapter entitled “The Sense of Time” in his 1892 book, Psychology. In 1939, Lawrence K. Frank wrote, “all human conduct … is conditioned by the time perspectives of the individual” (p. 294), and other prominent psychologists (e.g., Erikson, 1950, 1968; Lewin, 1935, 1939, 1942) have commented on the importance of time in human functioning. In this presentation, Dr. Worrell will provide a brief historical overview of the psychological research on time constructs, before turning his attention to contemporary research on cognitions and feelings about time. He will show that research on temporal constructs has implications for mental distress and mental wellbeing and is applicable across a wide range of national contexts, as well as a variety of domains from academic performance to personality and engaging in risky behaviors.