Tag Archive for time perception

A Path in Life

mind

There is a general recognition that time perception speeds up as we get older. As kids, we felt our summers lasted a lifetime; as adults, summertime slithers out of our hands before we even get a chance to pull our sun hats from storage. With each year, time shortens and compresses to practically nothing. But is that all? Are there other changes that we are simply less aware of that transform our psyche as we age? And is this adult feeling for temporal foreshortening uniformly distributed throughout human cultures (historically and geographically)? Since I’ve just published two books this year (“Harvest” and “God of Small Affairs”) that considered human development on cosmological scales of existence, there was something in those stories that tickled my brain — what else changes so dramatically over our lifetimes? And I think the answer might be our goals and expectations. As a kid, I played at how long I could hold my breath, how long could I hang from a pole, how many times I could jump the rope before getting tangled up… How many grapes could fit into my mouth? (It was really gooseberries, but who knows what they are on this side of…

RE: Deadline Pressure Distorts Our Sense of Time

Article:  Herbert, W. (2011). “Deadline Pressure Distorts Our Sense of Time.” scientificamerican.com. Visited on October 9th, 2012: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=looming-deadlines Summary:  The perceived difficulty and deadline pressure associated with a task alters our perception of time. In an initial study, subject were presented with a series of tasks of varying difficulty and asked how far away the day of completion felt to them. The tasks that were more complex and work intensive were perceived as being further in the future. To arrive at this result our brains are translating effort into time, assuming that the more difficult tasks must be further away since they will require more work to complete. An opposite effect is encountered when deadlines are associated with the tasks. If subjects are presented with either an easy or difficult task that they must complete by a set date in the future, those with the more complex and effortful task report that the date feels much closer to them than those with the simple task. This effect may sometimes cause us to feel overwhelmed as multiple complex tasks pile up on us, but our skewed perception of time also ensures that we typically complete necessary tasks within the actual amount of time…