Save

Has it really Been that Long? Why Time Seems to Speed up with Age

In: Timing & Time Perception
Authors:
Isabell Winkler
Search for other papers by Isabell Winkler in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Katja Fischer
Search for other papers by Katja Fischer in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Kristin Kliesow
Search for other papers by Kristin Kliesow in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Tina Rudolph
Search for other papers by Tina Rudolph in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Carolin Thiel
Search for other papers by Carolin Thiel in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
Peter Sedlmeier Department of Psychology, Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany

Search for other papers by Peter Sedlmeier in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution

Purchase

Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):

$40.00

The impression that time speeds up with age is a well known phenomenon. In the literature, a number of theories on this age effect exists, but results of the respective studies are inconclusive, and even somewhat paradoxical: The age effect occurred only when speed of time was judged for periods in the past. However, usually no difference was found when comparing present time perception between participants in different age groups. Our investigation had two aims: To begin, we tried to solve the riddle of this paradox. We contend that a context of comparison is needed for the age effect to occur, that is, a comparison of present time perception with the perception in previous life periods. The second aim was to compare potential causes of the age effect. Participants in a large sample (n = 517) covering a wide age range (20–80 years) provided time judgments and its potential predictors for both current and previous life periods. No age effect was found for speed of time in current life if only age was used as a predictor. If, however, other factors were statistically controlled for, a weak but noticeable age effect was found. Consistent with prior results, a clear age effect was obtained when participants compared different life periods retrospectively. Perceived time pressure and the number of routines are important factors of time perception both in current and previous life periods. A decreasing frequency of new life experiences seems to explain only the age effect of retrospective time perception.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 1701 471 36
Full Text Views 271 35 1
PDF Views & Downloads 103 38 3