Zeitwahrnehmung der sehr fernen Zukunft.

Activity: Talk or presentationConference PresentationsResearch

Hans-Rüdiger Pfister - Speaker

Gisela Böhm - Coauthor

We examine how people perceive and represent the temporal structure of future events, using events occurring in the very distant future. While there is plenty of research about the perception of experienced duration of time intervals in the range of up to a few seconds, little is known about how people represent anticipated future events in the range of years, decades, or even centuries. Thinking about distant future events plays an important role in social and political decision making, for example, in discussions about how to deal with climate change, the consequences of which affect future generations. Employing a paired comparison approach, we asked participants to judge the subjective duration of the time interval between two future events. Intervals ranged from a few years to more than two hundred years. Based on these judgments, we use nonmetric multidimensional scaling to reconstruct the mental representation of the temporal structure of these events. Results suggest that the transformation of a symbolic description of future time points into a mental representation of time intervals has a logarithmic form, whereas the transformation of the mental representation into values of a response scale is linear.


34th Annual Meeting of the International Society for Psychophysics: Fechner Day 2018


Lüneburg, Lower Saxony, Germany

Event: Conference