Posted Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2009, at 4:21 PM
Say you have a meeting scheduled for Wednesday, when you get a call telling you the meeting's been moved forward two days. What day is the meeting scheduled for now? Your response may reveal whether you're an "angry" person or a passive one.
It probably says a lot about me that I didn't even realize there could be two answers to this question. Obviously, I thought, the meeting was now scheduled for Friday. How could anyone say, as some apparently did, that it was Monday? Idiots. But apparently, the more passive (which could be put more kindly as "less confrontational") you are, the more likely you are to see time as passing you by, in which case a meeting that is moved "forward" will occur earlier. In this case, on Monday. If you see yourself as moving through time, moving the meeting "forward" puts it farther away-on Friday.
And according to this recent study , people who see themselves as moving through time tend to have "angrier temperaments." The truth is, it took me a couple of reads to manage to reinterpret "moved forward" as possibly meaning a Monday meeting. (It helps to think of the meeting as moving physically around on a calendar.) It felt like the exercise where you either see two faces or two vases . Apparently, I have issues. You?
Photograph by Getty Images.