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Felt Time: The Psychology of How We Perceive Time (MIT Press)
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Felt Time: The Psychology of How We Perceive Time (MIT Press)

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  272 ratings  ·  40 reviews
We have widely varying perceptions of time. Children have trouble waiting for anything. ("Are we there yet?") Boredom is often connected to our sense of time passing (or not passing). As people grow older, time seems to speed up, the years flitting by without a pause. How does our sense of time come about? In Felt Time, Marc Wittmann explores the riddle of subjective time,
Kindle Edition, 185 pages
Published February 10th 2016 by The MIT Press (first published August 15th 2012)
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Margaux Andrea This is an old article and may not be all about the psychology of time per se, but I'm linking it all the same:
This is an old article and may not be all about the psychology of time per se, but I'm linking it all the same:

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3.49  · 
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 ·  272 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Tudor Ștefănescu
May 16, 2016 rated it liked it
Recommended to Tudor by:
Shelves: non-fiction
A mix between science and philosophy the book discusses things like: how long is "a moment" (around 3 seconds), how do we know how much time has past (by listening to our internal clocks/processes: heartbeat, how hungry we are, etc. and observing external processes), why do we feel time is passing faster with age (we make fewer memories and those that we make are fading faster), the relation between time and "self" - you need time to be in touch with you in order to be you... etc. Short but at t ...more
Jan 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
My desire to read more science books in 2017 and my own personal and professional interests motivated me to pick up this book. Like many others, I have had the experience of losing loved ones “before their time” and that experience profoundly changed the way I perceived time. In my work life, I am interested in how and why some people invest their present time and resources into creating a better future for their communities, even though they may not experience or even see the rewards during the ...more
Mar 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017-reads
An overview of psychological and brain research into how humans perceive time and the small differences in temporal perception between us, as well as our personal experiences of time's expansion and contraction over a lifetime and within our days. Explanations of how, for example, in a moment of fear or violence, like a car accident, when it feels as if time expands and events seem to run in slow motion - this may actually be caused by our brains and biological systems "speeding up" (paradoxical ...more
Jun 11, 2016 rated it liked it
It's a good introduction to the concept of time and perception of time. He covers scholars in science and philosophy. However, he is awfully repetitive at times and the reading sort of becomes a drag... Which might be a bit ironic considering the book's theme.
Mar 09, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
The ideas in the book are thought provoking. But the writing style is horrible. Basically a dissertation that's been put forth as a book.

Book summary: If you want to live longer, slow down time by filling it with (meaningful) novel experiences. Routine makes time go faster.
Mar 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Bit of a shocking moment when after these chapters about the marshmallow test and circadian cycles and neurons, Marina Abramovic shows up as the concluding paragraph

also I would say that this review is not reflective of great prose or a distinctive style b/c this is a translation -
useful information
(1) life doesn't go by faster b/c portions of time are smaller in proportion to your total life (like some people say "oh years go by faster when you're an adult because when you're 2 a year is 1/2
Feb 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-again
The object of this book is to discuss the subjective nature and perception of time. A discussion of the perception of time necessarily makes one reflect on all the time one squanders in one's life, the importance of experiencing the time we live all the more so that we may experience our lives and not let it run by as we spend our time in mundane everyday tasks. Routines are a necessary part of life, and although they enable a lot of good, they also lead to a severely diminished experience of th ...more
Ursula Villarreal-Moura
Sep 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
A fascinating look at how our perception of time is influenced by new experiences, light, body temperature, our heart rate, change, and feelings. A couple of experiments described were hard to follow for this non-scientist, and sometimes the writing was oblique, but overall, I learned a bit from this read.
Nov 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science, 2018
It's fine - a bit dry and repetitive at times, and is missing some sort of big picture thesis that ties everything together as a book. But, some interesting facts/case studies.
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science, psychology
This is a good introduction to the psychology of time. Very basic stuff. If you know nothing about it, it will be useful. If you already know the basics, you may not learn much that is new....
Corey Astill
May 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Fascinating insights on how we as humans experience the time of our lives. The length of a moment, the texture of our memories, why time passes so quickly during engaging activities versus the painful slow passage of time while standing in line. The research yields many insights for how build more memories and make the time count in terms of how we later reflect on our lives. I highly recommend this book.
Casey Jo
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read a grown up book! It's a topic that I've watch various documentaries (etc) on so a fair amount was stuff I knew, but the telling and the framing was all good. In particular, I'm connecting with the notion that when you get old, the days get longer but the decades get short. The takeaway of "do different things to make your life feel longer" is a good one.
Fred Goh
Jan 28, 2017 rated it liked it
A rather abrupt ending to an otherwise fascinating and interesting read. This book is a somewhat superficial yet highly succinct summary of recent research and theories of the self, the subjective sense of time, neurobiology and how it all comes together. Worth a read.
Jan 13, 2017 rated it liked it
Two things I took away: 1) I drive the way I do because I perceive time differently than the people around me (especially passengers). 2) It's OK to slow down sometimes.
JY Tan
Jun 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology

My first ever book about the psychology of time. It is highly academic and require an academic background to appreciate, spans across various topics from perception, neuroscience, and individual differences. The later part also had some interesting philosophical treatise referencing Heidegger. It is a pretty coherent piece of writing that can catch the interest of many psychology students, and can inspire new lines of research in fields like temporal resolution, neuropsychology of time, individu
J Crossley
Oct 25, 2018 rated it liked it
The author discusses different ways of viewing time. People will either orient in the future or the present. Future-oriented people are better able to delay gratification, while present-orientated people prefer immediate gratification. Although future-orientation can help you to reach your goals, you want to live your life in the present because that is what makes life meaningful. The author suggest using mindfulness meditation as a way to learn how to appreciate the present moment.
Tristan Bills
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Felt Time presents fascinating facts and theories about how our bodies perceive time, and offers advice on how to make the most of the present moment, deal with boredom and control the pace of our lives. I'd recommend it to psychologists, neuroscientists and brain researchers, people fascinated by the concept of time, and anyone wishing to reduce their stress.
Sampurna Ray
Dec 27, 2018 rated it liked it
Intriguing arguments. Things I'm taking away:
1. "Regrets about exercising restraint prove much stronger – and can also last much longer – than regrets about yielding to temptation."
2. The more emotionally charged, fresh experiences you can acquire, the longer your life will seem
3. Slow down, breathe, mindfully savour experiences in the present moment
Ксения Чистопольская
An absolutely beautiful explanation of how we perceive time, why time slows down when we are bored, why it accelerates when something interesting is going on, but afterwords we feel it as more long. And many other interesting things. At last i feel that i've understood it. Hope we'll translate it into Russian.
Sinem Eylem
Mar 04, 2019 rated it liked it
The topic itself is certainly interesting and the book will provide you some information from a scientific as well as a philosophical perspective, but there’s really no depth, structure, or a proper ending. It leaves you feeling that the book is incomplete.
John Kissell
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
much interesting information here, but I was left somehow wanting more -- I suspect the reason form this ennui explained in here and I'll latch onto the explanation later ... I did learn about VENs, which I'll have to explore ...
Jan 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Felt Time

Interesting read providing insight into the different dimensions of perceived time and the possible relationships that distort, change and enhance our experience of time.
Michael Flick
A very brief and superficial review of some of the meager science of how we experience time, short on answers.
Dec 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Interesting human psychological perception of how times flies or slows down.
Andrea Hickman Walker
Interesting, but not exactly riveting. The ending was very abrupt.
Hendrik Schokker
Jul 29, 2018 rated it it was ok

A review of literature, no real conclusion on what is time. I would have expected more in regards of science. Time is an invention of the human mind.
Yifei Men
Jul 09, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, science
Translated non-fiction is often a little hit-or-miss. The writing in Felt Time feels a little garbled at time, the content wandering and occasionally I'm completely lost. However, there's enough little gems of wisdom, little nuggets of "Ah-ha" that I still came away glad that I have read this book... Foreign to the psychology of time, this book gave me vocabulary and framework to anchor my own experiences of time -- the time paradox, what really connotes a "long life", our identity as a duration ...more
Apr 27, 2017 rated it liked it
some interesting ideas and findings on the neurological perception of time. presentation could have used the Oliver Sacks treatment. technical details were a bit dry at times and I personally wanted a little more hand holding when neuro biology was being discussed.
Oct 05, 2016 rated it did not like it
I really wanted to like this but I found the tone varied too much. From quite dull science fact - to the point of obscuring the results - to pleasant advice to philosophic review.
Suat Atan
Aug 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you want to understand how our mind processes the time read it.
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