How does one measure perception of time? And has it changed over the last century? My gut feeling says that people in the 50s & 60s found time to be passing slower compared to people in the present generation.

Time perception also changes as we grow older. For older people it seems to pass more quickly than for the young.

  • $\begingroup$ "Time perception also changes as we grow older" I know this is a colloquial fact, but do you know of research that shows this? This might also be cultural. Furthermore, how is this pertinent to your question? $\endgroup$ – Steven Jeuris Feb 28 '19 at 18:14
  • $\begingroup$ Wittmann, M., & Lehnhoff, S. (2005). Age effects in perception of time. Psychological reports, 97(3), 921-935. $\endgroup$ – Steven Jeuris Aug 22 '20 at 13:20

I think, for a start, that you are absolutely right that time passes faster for older people. How can you do research to show this? It's a silly comment. Life itself shows that this is the case. When you're young (under your teens), normally, you enjoy life every day, crying and laughing. The days seem to last "forever". Although it is said that time flies by when having a good time. But I think the last is the case for older young ones (like Einstein said when having a good time with your girlfriend time seems to pass much faster than holding you're hands on a hot object for a minute). Though it could be possible that in a Hopi society (to name an example) this isn't the case, but I'm 100% are it's the case when growing older.

Considering your question. It is said we are living in fast times these days. It's a rat's race. Are living fast and the perception of the speed of time connected? I think indeed. When I lay in my bed the whole of the day while feeling depressed, I can tell you that time passes slowly! Except when you sleep, of course. When I have many things to do (which I like) there can't be plenty of time enough, so time flies by. On the contrary, doing a job you hate for eight hours, will slow down your perception of time. Always looking at the clock: when can I go home?
I think this has been the case in all eras we are looking at. Why shouldn't it? I think a physical clock will have no effect on that. In almost all, if not all, cultures a physical clock is present. It's not a Swiss-made precisely ticking clock or an atomic clock, but one that resides in Nature.

So my answer: No.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ "How can you do research to show this? It's a silly comment." First search on Google Scholar: "Age Effects in Perception of Time" I don't really see why you are advocating anecdotal individual experiences here rather than looking for actual scientific, aggregated, insights into this, given that this is a scientific community and we expect questions and answers to be based on research. $\endgroup$ – Steven Jeuris Aug 22 '20 at 13:14
  • $\begingroup$ But I have based my answer on actual evidence! From life itself though. I have spoken to many elderly people when I worked in the home care business and many elderly (and younger people) outside the business. So not from controlled scientific experiments, which is just an abstract of real life. So why shouldn't that count as evidence? $\endgroup$ – Deschele Schilder Aug 22 '20 at 13:48

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