You often hear that time passes more quickly when you're having fun. And the opposite is also "true" in common belief, that when you're bored time is very slow. But we know that time is almost linear and constant.

Is there any scientific proof of that time is perceived differently depending on feeling or mood?

  • $\begingroup$ As old man Einstein once said: > “When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That's relativity.” It might not be Scientific Evidence (and there probably is scientific evidence for your question), but in all I think this quote sums up what you're asking and coming from one of the greats, I thought this would be worth putting. Mona. $\endgroup$
    – Monacraft
    Feb 6 '14 at 21:48
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Lots of worthwhile related reading available on Wikipedia's time perception and chronemics pages. I'll try to return, synthesize, and supplement these sometime if I can...but I'd welcome anyone who can beat me to the punch! $\endgroup$ Feb 7 '14 at 1:33

There's definitely scientific evidence that one's perception of time can be influenced by actions which in no way something's duration.

It's not quite the happy/sad affect you're asking about, but it definitely suggests that one's perception of time can be meaningfully influenced by wholly unrelated information:

2010 Study: When doctors sit for patient consultations, they are perceived as staying longer, providing higher quality care

Patients consistently overestimated the time doctors spent with them much more when the doctors sat down while talking to them then when they remained standing. (The multiple was about 85% higher relative to the actual for the doctors who sat.)


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