We think all of us had the impression that, as we get older, time passes faster. When you think back to your childhood you remember that days lasted longer and time passed slower.
There are many theories that try to explain why some things, that once looked like they needed a long time, are now passing by much faster.
The most plausible explication is the one from psychologist Pierre Janet in 1877. He said that time passes faster as we grow older because every new experience is a smaller fraction that is part of a whole – our life span.
“When you’re five years old, one year represents 20% of our life. When you’re 50 years old the number change and one year represents only 2% of our life” Pierre Janet said.
This theory was also reiterated by Maximilian Kiener on his website. In the introduction, the website says that this phenomenon takes place because we perceive the relative time reported to the absolute we can compare.
“When you’re one month old, a week is 25% of our entire existence and when you’re one year old it becomes 50%” Kiener says.
Witmann and Lehnhoff have another theory about the pressure that we feel because of time. They claim that time passes faster when you’re under pressure. And this theory makes a lot of sense if we think that when we’re between 16 and 50 years old we make many decisions under pressure.
For example, imagine you’re 50 years old and you still haven’t achieved your career goals. When you realize that you only have around 15 more years to do that, time starts passing by faster and you realize you don’t have a lot of time left.