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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Wait just one minute...



Listening to the radio the other day, they were interviewing a researcher who was studying why time seems to go faster as we get older.

They said the research shows that there are actual physiological reasons for that phenomenon. That when you are young everything is a new experience, and your brain spends so much time learning so many things that time actually does seem to move slower, because it is so full. But as we get older, we have fewer unique experiences...we don't have to use our brain as much as we go about our daily routines on auto pilot. We are not present in every moment, so they are gone before we know it.

They even had an on-the-street study with twenty-some-odds and older-some-odds...they asked them to estimate the length of a minute. The twenty-some-odds had pretty accurate estimates within five or so seconds more or less. The older-some-odds were over by many more seconds...I want to say maybe twenty or thirty?

Anyway, this article was fresh in my as I was spending last weekend around the house. As I was baking cookies, I was setting the timer on my oven. My timer has a one-minute warning. On two separate batches the warning went off while I was busy in the other room, and I managed to continue what I was doing and still made my way to the kitchen in time to turn off the timer on the first beep of its final alarm. My estimate equaled exactly one minute.

Aaahhh. That felt good.

It doesn't take much to amuse me...

...or apparently to validate me.

3 comments:

  1. That's really interesting. It's something I've got my own pet theory for as well, to do with percentages of time. So, when you're, say, ten, a year is 10% of your life to date, so seems to take a longer time to go past than a year when you're, say, 40, when it's only 2.5%. And less as you get older. Crackers, maybe, but it's my theory, and I like it!

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  2. Hi FT and Caroline.

    It was an interesting radio news article on NPR, and I'm sure I came nowhere close to explaining it fully. My opinion has always been similar to your Caroline. Kind of like how houses and buildings seem SO big when you're a kid...then you go back years later as an adult and they seem so small. :) I think that has something to do with the body size/house size comparitively.

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