Examining the Relationship between Stress and Time Perception
UNIFORMED SERVICES UNIV OF THE HEALTH SCIENCES BETHESDA MD BETHESDA United States
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Changes in time perception are recognized among the symptoms of traumatic stress disorders, but the relationship between general stress and time perception is yet unclear. Three studies examined the relationship between stress and time perception. The Perception of Time and the Senses Survey PTSS, a se lf-report measure of usual and stress-related time perception, was developed and administered to 412 people in Study I and was revised and extended to a broader sample N939 in Study 2. The PTSS II was then administered in the laboratory with other measures of time perception, stress, and mood in Study 3 N64. Stress was related to perceived rate of the passage of time by a quadratic function. Relative attention to past, present, and future was different under stress than usual with greater focus on the present and future. Findings are discussed relative to potential applications in stress prevention and stress management.