Chronemics is the study of the role of time in communication. It is one of several subcategories to emerge out of the study of nonverbal communication. Other prominent subcategories include haptics (touch), kinesics (body movement), vocalics (paralanguage), and proxemics (the use of space).
Thomas J. Bruneau of Radford University coined the term "chronemics" in the late 1970s to help define the function of time in human interaction:
Chronemics can be briefly and generally defined as the study of human tempo as it related to human communication. More specifically, chronemics involves the study of both subjective and objective human tempos as they influence and are interdependent with human behavior. Further, chronemics involves the study of human communication as it relates to interdependent and integrated levels of time-experiencing. Previously, these interdependent and integrated levels have been outlined and discussed as: biological time; psychological time; social time; and cultural time. A number of classification systems exist in the literature of time. However, such systems are not applied to human interaction directly.
Chronemics can be defined as "the interrelated observations and theories of man's use of time" – the way in which one perceives and values time, structures time, and reacts to time frames communication. Time perception plays a large role in the nonverbal communication process. Time perceptions include punctuality, willingness to wait, and interactions. The use of time can affect lifestyle, daily agendas, speed of speech, movements, and how long people are willing to listen.
Time can be used as an indicator of status. For example, in most companies the boss can interrupt progress to hold an impromptu meeting in the middle of the work day, yet the average worker would have to make an appointment to see the boss. The way in which different cultures perceive time can influence communication as well.
Cultures are sometimes considered monochronic or polychronic.
A monochronic time system means that things are done one at a time and time is segmented into precise, small units. Under this system, time is scheduled, arranged and managed.
The United States considers itself a monochronic society. This perception came about during the Industrial Revolution, when "factory life required the labor force to be on hand and in place at an appointed hour" (Guerrero, DeVito & Hecht, 1999, p. 238). Many Americans like to think that to them, time is a precious resource not to be wasted or taken lightly. "We buy time, save time, spend time and make time. Our time can be broken down into years, months, days, hours, minutes, seconds and even milliseconds. We use time to structure both our daily lives and events that we are planning for the future. We have schedules that we must follow: appointments that we must go to at a certain time, classes that start and end at certain times, work schedules that start and end at certain times, and even our favorite TV shows, that start and end at a certain time."
As communication scholar Edward T. Hall wrote regarding the American's viewpoint of time in the business world, "the schedule is sacred." Hall says that for monochronic cultures, such as the American culture, "time is tangible" and viewed as a commodity where "time is money" or "time is wasted." The result of this perspective is that monochronic cultures, place a paramount value on schedules, tasks and "getting the job done." These cultures are committed to regimented schedules and may view those who do not subscribe to the same perception of time as disrespectful, inefficient or unreliable.
A polychronic time system is a system where several things can be done at once, and wider view of time is exhibited and time is perceived in large fluid sections. Examples of polychronic behaviors include: typing while answering telephones or taking notes while sitting participating in meetings. Polychronicity is in contrast to those who prefer monochronicity (doing one thing at a time).
Polychronic cultures are much less focused on the preciseness of accounting for each and every moment. As Raymond Cohen notes, polychronic cultures are more focused on tradition and relationships rather than on tasks—a clear difference from their monochronic counterparts. Cohen notes that "Traditional societies have all the time in the world. The arbitrary divisions of the clock face have little saliency in cultures grounded in the cycle of the seasons, the invariant pattern of rural life, community life, and the calendar of religious festivities" (Cohen, 1997, p. 34).
Polychronic culture is more focused on relationships, rather than watching the clock. Polychronic societies have no problem being "late" for an appointment if they are deeply focused on some work or in a meeting that ran past schedule, because the concept of time is fluid and can easily expand or contract as need be. As a result, polychronic cultures have a much less formal perception of time. They are not ruled by precise calendars and schedules. Rather, "cultures that use the polychronic time system often schedule multiple appointments simultaneously so keeping on schedule is an impossibility."
Researchers have developed the following questionnaires to measure polychronicity:
|Monochronic people||Polychronic people|
|Do one thing at a time||Do many things at once|
|Concentrate on a task set before them||Concentrate on an event happening around them|
|Consider time commitments (deadlines, schedules) seriously||Consider objectives (goals, results) seriously|
|Are low-context and need information||Are high-context and already have information|
|Are committed to the job and end results||Are committed to people and relationships|
|Dedicate themselves to plans||Change plans often and easily|
|Are more concerned with privacy and individual ownership||Are more concerned with community and shared connections|
|Emphasize prompt time recognition, regardless of relationship or circumstances||Emphasize response based on nature of relationship and circumstances|
|Have strong tendency to build temporary, practical relationships||Have strong tendency to build lifetime, familial relationships|
Conflicting attitudes between the monochronic and polychronic perceptions of time can interfere with cross-cultural relations, and similar challenges can occur within an otherwise assimilated culture. One example in the United States is the Hawaiian culture, which employs two time systems: Haole time and Hawaiian time.
"When you hear someone say, 'See you at two o'clock haole time,' they mean they will just that. Haole time is when the person will meet when they say they will meet. But if you were to hear someone say, 'I'll be there at two o'clock Hawaiian time,' then something different is implied. Hawaiian time is very lax and it basically means 'when you get there.'" —Nick Lewis
The way an individual perceives time and the role time plays in their lives is a learned perspective. As discussed by Alexander Gonzalez and Phillip Zimbardo, "every child learns a time perspective that is appropriate to the values and needs of his society" (Guerrero, DeVito & Hecht, 1999, p. 227).
There are four basic psychological time orientations:
Each orientation affects the structure, content, and urgency of communication (Burgoon, 1989). The past orientation has a hard time developing the notion of elapsed time and these individuals often confuse present and past happenings as all in the same. People oriented with time-line cognitivity are often detail oriented and think of everything in linear terms. These individuals also often have difficulty with comprehending multiple events at the same time. Individuals with a present orientation are mostly characterized as pleasure seekers who live for the moment and have a very low risk aversion. Those individuals who operate with future orientation are often thought of as being highly goal oriented and focused on the broad picture.
The use of time as a communicative channel can be a powerful, yet subtle, force in face-to-face interactions. Some of the more recognizable types of interaction that use time are:
Time orientation has also revealed insights into how people react to advertising. Martin, Gnoth and Strong (2009) found that future-oriented consumers react most favorably to ads that feature a product to be released in the distant future and that highlight primary product attributes. In contrast, present-oriented consumers prefer near-future ads that highlight secondary product attributes. Consumer attitudes were mediated by the perceived usefulness of the attribute information.
Just as monochronic and polychronic cultures have different time perspectives, understanding the time orientation of a culture is critical to becoming better able to successfully handle diplomatic situations. Americans think they have, a future orientation. Hall indicates that for Americans "tomorrow is more important" and that they "are oriented almost entirely toward the future" (Cohen, 2004, p. 35). The future-focused orientation attributes to at least some of the concern that Americans have with "addressing immediate issues and moving on to new challenges" (Cohen, 2004, p. 35).
On the other hand, many polychronic cultures have a past-orientation toward time.
These time perspectives are the seeds for communication clashes in diplomatic situations. Trade negotiators have observed that "American negotiators are generally more anxious for agreement because "they are always in a hurry" and basically "problem solving oriented." In other words, they place a high value on resolving an issue quickly calling to mind the American catchphrase "some solution is better than no solution" (Cohen, 2004, p. 114). Similar observations have been made of Japanese-American relations. Noting the difference in time perceptions between the two countries, former ambassador to Tokyo, Mike Mansfield commented "We're too fast, they're too slow" (Cohen, 2004, p. 118).
Different perceptions of time across cultures can influence global communication. When writing about time perspective, Gonzalez and Zimbardo comment that "There is no more powerful, pervasive influence on how individuals think and cultures interact than our different perspectives on time—the way we learn how we mentally partition time into past, present and future." (Guerrero, DeVito & Hecht, 1999, p. 227)
Depending upon where an individual is from, their perception of time might be that "the clock rules the day" or that "we'll get there when we get there." Improving prospects for success in the global community requires understanding cultural differences, traditions and communication styles.
The monochronic-oriented approach to negotiations is direct, linear and rooted in the characteristics that illustrate low context tendencies. The low context culture approaches diplomacy in a lawyerly, dispassionate fashion with a clear idea of acceptable outcomes and a plan for reaching them. Draft arguments would be prepared elaborating positions. A monochronic culture, more concerned with time, deadlines and schedules, tends to grow impatient and want to rush to "close the deal."
More polychronic-oriented cultures come to diplomatic situations with no particular importance placed on time. Chronemics is one of the channels of nonverbal communication preferred by a High context Polychronic negotiator over verbal communication.The polychronic approach to negotiations will emphasis building trust between participants, forming coalitions and finding consensus. High context Polychronic negotiators might be charged with emotion toward a subject thereby obscuring an otherwise obvious solution.
Time has a definite relationship to power. Though power most often refers to the ability to influence people (Guerrero, DeVito & Hecht, 1999, p. 314), power is also related to dominance and status (Guerrero, DeVito & Hecht, 1999, p. 315).
For example, in the workplace, those in a leadership or management position treat time and – by virtue of position – have their time treated differently from those who are of a lower stature position. Anderson and Bowman have identified three specific examples of how chronemics and power converge in the workplace – waiting time, talk time and work time.
Researchers Insel and Lindgren (Guerrero, DeVito & Hecht, 1999, p. 325) write that the act of making an individual of a lower stature wait is a sign of dominance. They note that one who "is in the position to cause another to wait has power over him. To be kept waiting is to imply that one's time is less valuable than that of the one who imposes the wait."
There is a direct correlation between the power of an individual in an organization and conversation. This includes both length of conversation, turn-taking and who initiates and ends a conversation. Extensive research indicates that those with more power in an organization will speak more often and for a greater length of time. Meetings between superiors and subordinates provide an opportunity to illustrate this concept. A superior – regardless of whether or not they are running the actual meeting – lead discussions, ask questions and have the ability to speak for longer periods of time without interruption. Likewise, research shows that turn-taking is also influenced by power. Social psychologist Nancy Henley notes that "Subordinates are expected to yield to superiors and there is a cultural expectation that a subordinate will not interrupt a superior" (Guerrero, DeVito & Hecht, 1999, p. 326). The length of response follows the same pattern. While the superior can speak for as long as they want, the responses of the subordinate are shorter in length. Albert Mehrabian noted that deviation from this pattern led to negative perceptions of the subordinate by the superior. Beginning and ending a communication interaction in the workplace is also controlled by the higher-status individual in an organization. The time and duration of the conversation are dictated by the higher-status individual.
The time of high status individuals is perceived as valuable, and they control their own time. On the other hand, a subordinate with less power has their time controlled by a higher status individual and are in less control of their time – making them likely to report their time to a higher authority. Such practices are more associated with those in non-supervisory roles or in blue collar rather than white collar professions. Instead, as power and status in an organization increases, the flexibility of the work schedule also increases. For instance, while administrative professionals might keep a 9 to 5 work schedule, their superiors may keep less structured hours. This does not mean that the superior works less. They may work longer, but the structure of their work environment is not strictly dictated by the traditional work day. Instead, as Koehler and their associates note "individuals who spend more time, especially spare time, to meetings, to committees, and to developing contacts, are more likely to be influential decision makers" (Guerrero, DeVito & Hecht, 1999, p. 327).
A specific example of the way power is expressed through work time is scheduling. As Yakura and others have noted in research shared by Ballard and Seibold, "scheduling reflects the extent to which the sequencing and duration of plans activities and events are formalized" (Ballard and Seibold, p. 6). Higher-status individuals have very precise and formal schedules – indicating that their stature requires that they have specific blocks of time for specific meetings, projects and appointments. Lower status individuals however, may have less formalized schedules. Finally, the schedule and appointment calendar of the higher status individual will take precedence in determining where, when and the importance of a specific event or appointment.
Developed by Judee Burgoon, expectancy violations theory (EVT) sees communication as the exchange of information which is high in relational content and can be used to violate the expectations of another which will be perceived as either positively or negatively depending on the liking between the two people.
When our expectations are violated, we will respond in specific ways. If an act is unexpected and is assigned favorable interpretation, and it is evaluated positively, it will produce more favorable outcomes than an expected act with the same interpretation and evaluation.
The interpersonal adaptation theory (IAT), founded by Judee Burgoon, states that adaptation in interaction is responsive to the needs, expectations, and desires of communicators and affects how communicators position themselves in relation to one another and adapt to one another's communication. For example, they may match each other's behavior, synchronize the timing of behavior, or behave in dissimilar ways. It is also important to note that individuals bring to interactions certain requirements that reflect basic human needs, expectations about behavior based on social norms, and desires for interaction based on goals and personal preferences (Burgoon, Stern & Dillman, 1995).
An astrarium, also called a planetarium, is the mechanical representation of the cyclic nature of astronomical objects in one timepiece. It is an astronomical clock.BPL (time service)
BPL is the call sign of the official long-wave time signal service of the People's Republic of China, operated by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, broadcasting on 100 kHz from CAS's National Time Service Center in Pucheng County, Shaanxi at 34°56′54″N 109°32′34″E, roughly 70 km northeast of Lintong, along with NTSC's short-wave time signal BPM on 2.5, 5.0, 10.0, and 15.0 MHz.
BPL broadcasts LORAN-C compatible format signal from 5:30 to 13:30 UTC, using an 800 kW transmitter covering a radius up to 3000 km.Chronometry
Chronometry (from Greek χρόνος chronos, "time" and μέτρον metron, "measure") is the science of the measurement of time, or timekeeping. Chronometry applies to electronic devices, while horology refers to mechanical devices.
It should not to be confused with chronology, the science of locating events in time, which often relies upon it.Clock position
A clock position is the relative direction of an object described using the analogy of a 12-hour clock to describe angles and directions. One imagines a clock face lying either upright or flat in front of oneself, and identifies the twelve hour markings with the directions in which they point.
Using this analogy, 12 o'clock means ahead or above, 3 o'clock means to the right, 6 o'clock means behind or below, and 9 o'clock means to the left. The other eight hours refer to directions that are not directly in line with the four cardinal directions.
In aviation, a clock position refers to a horizontal direction; it may be supplemented with the word high or low to describe the vertical direction which is pointed towards your feet. 6 o'clock high means behind and above the horizon, while 12 o'clock low means ahead and below the horizon.Common year
A common year is a calendar year with 365 days, as distinguished from a leap year, which has 366. More generally, a common year is one without intercalation. The Gregorian calendar, (like the earlier Julian calendar), employs both common years and leap years to keep the calendar aligned with the tropical year, which does not contain an exact number of days.
The common year of 365 days has 52 weeks and one day, hence a common year always begins and ends on the same day of the week (for example, January 1 and December 31 fell on a Sunday in 2017) and the year following a common year will start on the subsequent day of the week. In common years, February has four weeks, so March will begin on the same day of the week. November will also begin on this day.
In the Gregorian calendar, 303 of every 400 years are common years. By comparison, in the Julian calendar, 300 out of every 400 years are common years, and in the Revised Julian calendar (used by Greece) 682 out of every 900 years are common years.Endurantism
Endurantism or endurance theory is a philosophical theory of persistence and identity. According to the endurantist view, material objects are persisting three-dimensional individuals wholly present at every moment of their existence, which goes with an A-theory of time. This conception of an individual as always present is opposed to perdurantism or four dimensionalism, which maintains that an object is a series of temporal parts or stages, requiring a B-theory of time. The use of "endure" and "perdure" to distinguish two ways in which an object can be thought to persist can be traced to David Lewis.HD2IOA
HD2IOA is the callsign of a time signal radio station operated by the Navy of Ecuador. The station is located at Guayaquil, Ecuador and transmits in the HF band on 3.81 and 7.6 MHz.The transmission is in AM mode with only the lower sideband (part of the time H3E and the rest H2B/H2D) and consists of 780 Hz tone pulses repeated every ten seconds and voice announcements in Spanish.
While sometimes this station is described as defunct, reception reports of this station on 3.81 MHz appear regularly at the Utility DX Forum.Hexadecimal time
Hexadecimal time is the representation of the time of day as a hexadecimal number in the interval [0,1).
The day is divided into 1016 (1610) hexadecimal hours, each hour into 10016 (25610) hexadecimal minutes, and each minute into 1016 (1610) hexadecimal seconds.Intercalation (timekeeping)
Intercalation or embolism in timekeeping is the insertion of a leap day, week, or month into some calendar years to make the calendar follow the seasons or moon phases. Lunisolar calendars may require intercalations of both days and months.Minute
The minute is a unit of time or angle. As a unit of time, the minute is most of times equal to 1⁄60 (the first sexagesimal fraction) of an hour, or 60 seconds. In the UTC time standard, a minute on rare occasions has 61 seconds, a consequence of leap seconds (there is a provision to insert a negative leap second, which would result in a 59-second minute, but this has never happened in more than 40 years under this system). As a unit of angle, the minute of arc is equal to 1⁄60 of a degree, or 60 seconds (of arc). Although not an SI unit for either time or angle, the minute is accepted for use with SI units for both. The SI symbols for minute or minutes are min for time measurement, and the prime symbol after a number, e.g. 5′, for angle measurement. The prime is also sometimes used informally to denote minutes of time.Nonverbal influence
Nonverbal influence is the act of affecting or inspiring change in others' behaviors and attitudes by way of tone of voice or body language and other cues like facial expression. This act of getting others to embrace or resist new attitudes can be achieved with or without the use of spoken language. It is a subtopic of nonverbal communication. Many individuals instinctively associate persuasion with verbal messages. Nonverbal influence emphasizes the persuasive power and influence of nonverbal communication. Nonverbal influence includes appeals to attraction, similarity and intimacy.OLB5
OLB5 was the callsign of a Czech time signal radio station. The station was located at Poděbrady and transmitted time signals which originated from the OMA (time signal) clock at Liblice.
The station transmitted in the HF band, on 3.17 MHz with 1 kW.Proxemics
Proxemics is the study of human use of space and the effects that population density has on behaviour, communication, and social interaction.Proxemics is one among several subcategories in the study of nonverbal communication, including haptics (touch), kinesics (body movement), vocalics (paralanguage), and chronemics (structure of time).Edward T. Hall, the cultural anthropologist who coined the term in 1963, defined proxemics as "the interrelated observations and theories of humans use of space as a specialized elaboration of culture". In his foundational work on proxemics, The Hidden Dimension, Hall emphasized the impact of proxemic behavior (the use of space) on interpersonal communication. According to Hall, the study of proxemics is valuable in evaluating not only the way people interact with others in daily life, but also "the organization of space in [their] houses and buildings, and ultimately the layout of [their] towns". Proxemics remains a hidden component of interpersonal communication that is uncovered through observation and strongly influenced by culture.Specious present
The specious present is the time duration wherein one's perceptions are considered to be in the present. Time perception studies the sense of time, which differs from other senses since time cannot be directly perceived but must be reconstructed by the brain.Tempus fugit
Tempus fugit is a Latin phrase, usually translated into English as "time flies". The expression comes from line 284 of book 3 of Virgil's Georgics, where it appears as fugit inreparabile tempus: "it escapes, irretrievable time". The phrase is used in both its Latin and English forms as a proverb that "time's a-wasting". Tempus fugit, however, is typically employed as an admonition against sloth and procrastination (cf. carpe diem) rather than a motto in favor of licentiousness (cf. "gather ye rosebuds while ye may"); the English form is often merely descriptive: "time flies like the wind", "time flies when you're having fun".
The phrase's full appearance in the Georgics is:
The phrase is a common motto, particularly on sundials and clocks.Tomorrow (time)
Tomorrow is a temporal construct of the relative future; literally of the day after the current day (today), or figuratively of future periods or times. Tomorrow is usually considered just beyond the present and counter to yesterday. It is important in time perception because it is the first direction the arrow of time takes humans on Earth.UTC offset
The UTC offset is the difference in hours and minutes from Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) for a particular place and date. It is generally shown in the format ±[hh]:[mm], ±[hh][mm], or ±[hh]. So if the time being described is one hour ahead of UTC (such as the time in Berlin during the winter), the UTC offset would be "+01:00", "+0100", or simply "+01".
Every inhabited place in the world has a UTC offset that is a multiple of 15 minutes, and the majority of offsets (as well as all nautical time zones) are measured in whole hours.
UTC is the equivalent to GMT.YVTO
YVTO is the callsign of the official time signal from the Juan Manuel Cagigal Naval Observatory in Caracas, Venezuela. The content of YVTO's signal, which is a continuous 1 kW amplitude modulated carrier wave at 5.000 MHz, is much simpler than that broadcast by some of the other time signal stations around the world, such as WWV.
The methods of time transmission from YVTO are very limited. The broadcast employs no form of digital time code. The time of day is given in Venezuelan Standard Time (VET), and is only sent using Spanish language voice announcements. YVTO also transmits 100 ms-long beeps of 1000 Hz every second, except for thirty seconds past the minute. The top of the minute is marked by a 0.5 second 800 Hz tone.The station previously broadcast on 6,100 MHz but appears to have changed to the current frequency by 1990.Yesterday (time)
Yesterday is a temporal construct of the relative past; literally of the day before the current day (today), or figuratively of earlier periods or times, often but not always within living memory.
|Philosophy of time|
and use of time