Novelty Changes How We Perceive Time

The neuroscientist Dr. David Eagleman, who’s focused much of his research on time perception, discovered something fascinating about novel experiences: they make time pass by more slowly. In effect, this can make your life feel longer. Think, for instance, about summers when you were a kid versus summers now.

“The only time you really write down memories is when something is novel. For a child, at the end of a summer, they have lots of memories to draw on because so many things are new. The summer seems to have taken forever in retrospect,” Eagleman explained. “But once you’re an adult, you kind of know the rules of the world, so when you get to the end of the summertime, you think, /Oh my gosh, where did that disappear to?/ Why? Because you don’t have any “footage” to draw on. You can’t really remember much in terms of distinguishable memories of the summer because everything else was pretty much routine.”