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Why Time Slows Down When We’re Afraid, Speeds Up as We Age, and Gets Warped on Vacation | Brain Pickings


Stashed in: Time, Fear, life, Psychology!, Aging, @brainpicker, Real Age

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I seem to remember reading about this phenomenon on PandaWhale before ... was it yesterday?

"As we grow older, we tend to feel like the previous decade elapsed more rapidly, while the earlier decades of our lives seem to have lasted longer. Similarly, we tend to think of events that took place in the past 10 years as having happened more recently than they actually did. (Quick: What year did the devastating Japanese tsunami hit? When did we love Maurice Sendak?) Conversely, we perceive events that took place more than a decade ago as having happened even longer ago. (When did Princess Diana die? What year was the Chernobyl disaster?) This, Hammond points out, is known as “forward telescoping”:

It is as though time has been compressed and — as if looking through a telescope — things seem closer than they really are. The opposite is called backward or reverse telescoping, also known as time expansion. This is when you guess that events happened longer ago than they really did. This is rare for distant events, but not uncommon for recent weeks.

[…]

The most straightforward explanation for it is called the clarity of memory hypothesis, proposed by the psychologist Norman Bradburn in 1987. This is the simple idea that because we know that memories fade over time, we use the clarity of a memory as a guide to its recency. So if a memory seems unclear we assume it happened longer ago."

First off, this is fascinating.

I love this subject, and the brainpicker article is great, so thank you for stashing!

Not sure which article you might have seen but I'm guessing it's this one:

http://pandawhale.com/post/4954/why-time-appears-to-speed-up-with-age

That's the very one - thanks!

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