Time Perspective and Emotion Regulation as Predictors of Age-Related Subjective Passage of Time

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2015 Dec 17;12(12):16027-42. doi: 10.3390/ijerph121215034.


Hardly any empirical work exists concerning the relationship between the intra-individually stable time perspective relating to the past, present, and future and the subjective speed of time passing in everyday life. Moreover, studies consistently show that the subjective passage of time over the period of the last ten years speeds up as we get older. Modulating variables influencing this phenomenon are still unknown. To investigate these two unresolved issues, we conducted an online survey with n = 423 participants ranging in age between 17 and 81 assessing trait time perspective of the past, present, and future, and relating these subscales with a battery of measures pertaining to the subjective passage of time. Moreover, the subjective passage of time as an age-dependent variable was probed in relationship to emotion awareness, appraisal and regulation. Results show how present hedonism is linked with having fewer routines in life and a faster passage of the last week; the past negative perspective is related to time pressure, time expansion and more routine; a pronounced future perspective is related to a general faster passage of time. Importantly, increased emotion regulation and a balanced time perspective are related to a slower passage of the last ten years. These novel findings are discussed within models of time perception and the time perspective.

Keywords: FMI; ZTPI; aging; balanced time perspective; emotion regulation; mindfulness; passage of time; time awareness; time perspective.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Awareness / physiology*
  • Emotions*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Time Factors
  • Time Perception / physiology*
  • Young Adult