Speed of Action

Lesson 2: Topic 18 of 19

Speed of action is closely related to Time Orientation. 

Raj from India said this: “Americans seem to be in a perpetual hurry. Just watch the way they walk down the street. They never allow themselves the leisure to enjoy life; there are too many things to do.”

From an immigrant help website: 

“Most Americans are impatient yet disciplined. No one likes to wait in line and they are easily frustrated. Yet most Americans wait in line patiently without pushing people or trying to jump ahead.”

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And one more:

“Life in the U.S. is generally fast-paced and busy. It is all about making money. People don’t want to waste time on anything, even eating food. That is why the U.S. invented fast food and is the largest consumer of fast food.”

One study used three particular methods to collect data on societal pacing from 31 different countries. Specifically, the study tested the following things:

(1) walking speed: the speed with which pedestrians in downtown areas walk a distance of 60 feet;

(2) work speed: how quickly postal clerks complete a standard request to purchase a stamp; and

(3) “…the accuracy of public clocks.” As a result, this study found that Japan and a collection of Western European countries had the fastest pace. Switzerland was a top contender, in particular because of the accuracy of its clocks.

“Whether Japan or Switzerland deserves the gold medal for speed remains an arguable issue, but without question the most remarkable finding at the front end of the rankings was the consistently fast scores from Western Europe. Eight of the nine Western European countries tested (Switzerland, Ireland, Germany, Italy, England, Sweden, Austria, and the Netherlands) were faster than every other country other than Japan.”