May 17, 2013

The Perception of Time

We are tune bound all the day and night and dictated by clocks every moment. All of life structure is scheduled in terms of hours and minutes. We are supposed to follow strictly use fixture of time every where in daily life and have make our estimates about the measurement of time. But apart from all this we have our own perception of time which has nothing do with the clocks. Only five or ten minutes of waiting for a friend en a roadside sometimes are perceived much longer than an hour. On the other hand, as long passage of time as two to three hours spent on interesting movie or a sitting with loved persons is perceived as “just a short while”.

A person, who owes an amount of money to another and has given him a word, tends mostly, if not always, to estimate the date a day or two behind. The person, on the contrary, who is looking forward anxiously to returning of money is liable to guess the date a day or two earlier. One same lecture opined as “lengthy” and “very brief by two different students of the same class is another example. The reason is obviously the perception of time, typical on the part of each person according to his interest.

There may be many factors to influence our perception of time such as sense of the sequence of the events, memory of the past, and feeling of time passage after a certain event and an orientation toward the future. A number of primitive tribes measure time in terms of past social events and not in units of duration. It will not be much surprising for such societies that time perception is less different than in our own. The islanders New Giainea, for example, have neither past nor future in their verbs. Real or mythical they state all events as taking place in a sort of universal present (Lee. 1949).

Factors Affecting Perception of Time

It is the perceiver who matters in the study of perception of time. The factors of age, intelligence, activity and innovation have been studied in considerable detail. All’ factors relate to the perceiver, as the perceived is time which remains as it is and measured in universal units.

(i) Age and Experience:

The ability to perceive time undergoes development in an orderly course along with advancement in age. Specific time concepts are acquired on account of all individual differences. This was demonstrated in study dealing with children’s knowledge of dock time. The apparent duration of weeks, months and years varies with the age of the subject. Relationship was found between ages and estimation of time demonstrated by them.

(ii) Motivation:

A person involved in interesting task will perceive the duration much less whereas time spent in monotonous work is usually overestimated. Judgment of time is related to feelings of success or failure. The subjects who experience failure judge an interval as longer than do those who experience success. A given interval of time is also estimated as longer by subjects trying to get through a task in order to reach a desired goal. Those who worked without much motivation seemed to take less time.

(iii) Drugs:

According to study by Goldstone, Boardman (1958), amphetamine and secobarbital are among a number of drugs that influence the apparent length of time. Under the influence of amphetamine individual perceives an interval shorter than a second as a second i.e. a minute much shorter than a minute. Secobarbital has the opposite effect meaning that a period of time will be perceived as zonger than the real one. Jazz musicians belie that marijuana improves the sense of time and rhythm empirical evidence does not support this point of view (Aldrich 194.4). It is quite possible, however, that marijuana, b making a physical unit of time seem longer, encourages the drummer or other musician to attempt a fast beat.

John S Lam is an IT Instructor at Examskey. He is CISSP Certified Professional. Take the benefit of our 200-120 material and assure your success. Check out our free demo of all certifications Exams.

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