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July 1969

Social Class and the Subjective Sense of Time

Author Affiliations

From the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, and the Rutgers Mental Health Center Department of Psychiatry, Rutgers Medical School, New Brunswick, NJ (Dr. Pollack). Dr. Ochberg is presently completing his psychiatric training at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1969;21(1):1-14. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1969.01740190003001

THE STUDY of man in his environment compels consideration of temporal phenomena both intrinsic and extrinsic. Despite the fact that to the present no generally accepted definition of time has come into being, throughout history the centrality of the temporal facet of "existence" has been pondered, explored, and explained. The theologian of ancient Greece and the contemporary space scientist share an interest in "time." Some investigators believe that time as experienced by the individual is the most fundamental dimension of human experience.1 Goldstone, one of the most productive of the contemporary students of time perception, expresses the view that, "all systems that are represented in man's reality exist and function within a temporal frame of reference."2 It would appear that the process of perception itself is impossible without temporalization.

During the latter one half of the 19th century, temporal phenomena

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